Guide to fall 5K races and beyond

By Lucy Matzilevich

(Daily Collegian File Photo)
(Daily Collegian File Photo)

As the temperature cools down, now is a great time to get out of the Recreation Center and hit the trails for a 5K, five-miler or half marathon. There are several exciting races taking place locally this season that allow you to enjoy a scenic day out with friends while also contributing to a charitable cause. In addition, many of the events include extra perks such as free food, tee-shirts and live music, so be sure to register early to guarantee a spot.

Revolution Run Homecoming 5K

There’s still time to sign up for the Revolution Run. The annual Homecoming 5K has been a UMass Amherst tradition for years and benefits Campus Recreation activities. The race will take place on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 10 a.m. Runners will begin at the Old Chapel and make their way through campus. Discounts are available for UMass students. Register here.

Berkshire Healthcare Harvest Run

The Harvest Run 5K takes place on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 10 a.m. at Paterson Field House in Pittsfield. The race benefits Berkshire Community College’s nursing program. After the race, enjoy free refreshments from the Harvest Run cook-off featuring a variety of international dishes. The first 150 registrants will receive long sleeve T-shirts and cash prizes will be awarded to the male and female overall winners. Register here.

8th Annual 5K for Farmland and Farmers’ Market Festival

The 5K for Farmland takes place on the West Street Common in Hadley and allows participants to enjoy a scenic, flat run through the farmlands of the Great Meadow. The race will take place on Sunday, Oct. 16. Proceeds will benefit Kestrel Land Trust, which works to conserve riverways, forests and farms in the Pioneer Valley.

After the race, runners are invited to join in for festivities featuring produce from the farmers’ market, locally brewed beer, an animal exhibit and live music. Runners who pre-register will receive a pint glass, and a discount is available for college students who present their student ID. Register here.

Happy Valley Half Marathon and 5K

The Happy Valley Half Marathon and 5K will commence on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 9 a.m. at 300 N Main Street in Florence. Both the half marathon and 5K begin in Look Park amidst beautiful fall foliage. Plus, both the top male and female runners both receive a $100 cash prize.

Post-race celebrations will take place in the Dow Pavilion and include free tacos and beer, a DJ and a tag sale. The races benefit FitKids, an organization that works to prevent childhood obesity. Register here.

FC Stars of MA Zombie Dash

The FC Stars 5K will take place on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 11:00 a.m. in Springfield. This year, the event will include a “Mini Zombie Dash” 1K for children under the age of eight years old. Costumes are encouraged for all and T-shirts will be given to registrants on a first-come, first-served basis. Proceeds will benefit soccer players of the FC Stars club with financial need, as well as field maintenance and other needs of the organization. Register here.

2016 Hatfield Lions Club Dan Barry Memorial Road Race

The Hatfield Lions Club Dan Barry Memorial road race will take place on Sunday, Nov. 6 in Hatfield. Walkers start at 11 a.m., followed by runners at noon.. The event is dedicated to the memory of Dan Barry, a competitive road racer who founded the race over twenty years ago. Proceeds will go to the Hatfield Lions Club charity to benefit people around the community. After the race, participants will be given a free meal and a bag of locally grown potatoes to take home. Register here.

Lucy Matzilevich can be reached at [email protected]