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2020 Overview

Impact of COVID-19

In March 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic grew and regulations for group gatherings and events came into place, it became increasingly more difficult to host the variety of events that BRR is accustomed to. However, Boston Road Runners was still able to host some of the more popular events while still following COVID-19 guidelines and safety protocols.

 

With the COVID-19 pandemic, we were quickly forced to move from our in-person races and run clubs and embrace virtual events instead. Though our community has remained active on our Facebook group, our runner participation has decreased, as has our income significantly. Because we are still supporting the running community, our operations have remained relatively the same, creating a difficult financial situation for us as a nonprofit.

In 2020 Boston Road Runners sent out a Run Survey to all members of its community. The survey asked questions regarding comfort level to competing in in-person races and what precautionary measures would need to be taken in order to be able to host such events. 

120 members of the BRR community completed this survey.

  • 52.9% of people said that they participated in one of BRR’s virtual run clubs 

  • 46.6% of people indicated that they would be comfortable attending in person events by Spring 2021 at the earliest. 

  • 68% of people said that they would be comfortable competing in person once rapid testing is widely available to the public. 

  • 27% of people said that it would be a long time before they are comfortable with in person events. 

  • Over half of the respondents said that they would want a decreased max number of participants, staggered start times and social distancing at events.

Our Mission

Boston Road Runners (BRR) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that works to create a vibrant community and inspire people to run.

At BRR, our mission is to foster and support an inclusive Greater Boston running community by creating an open, accessible, and welcoming environment for athletes of all backgrounds and experience levels.

Community

Our community of passionate people inspire each other to reach their goals everyday. We host two weekly run clubs on Mondays and Saturdays, which aim to motivate people to run consistently and stay involved in our community. Beyond the events and races that we host, run club members have a group of training partners. Most importantly, every runner that interacts with Boston Road Runners becomes a friend. Our run clubs are free, consistent, and open to all. Everyone is welcomed with open arms, regardless of ability or experience. We have six ambassadors that help make this supportive environment possible. BRR ambassadors are energetic leaders that represent our organization and encapsulate our mission. They inspire our runners, such as through motivational posts on social media of their own running pursuits.

 

Because our community gives so much to us, we love giving back in any way we can. We partner with several nonprofits and assist these organizations with putting on road races in order to raise money for a cause they care about. One of our partners is the MataHari Womens’ Workers Center; we fundraise for their efforts towards social justice. We also use our platform to raise awareness for other causes, as seen through races like our Run for Suicide Prevention and International Women’s Run. By helping these nonprofits organize running events, we not only raise money for important causes, but we help bring our community together and raise awareness for critical issues.

 

“BRR is an excellent organization! When I first came to Boston as a freshman in pharmacy school I struggled with finding a group that I really connected with and with running accountability! BRR has given me some of the best couple of years of my life here in Boston and I am grateful for the new friends and good times!” -Leah C.

Youth

We want to encourage kids to run to help them stay active and learn how fun exercising can be. To make this happen, all of our road races have discounts for runners aged 18 and under. We also put on special community youth races. All expenses are paid for by BRR and are free for our youth runners. In 2019, we partnered with Mendell Elementary School of Boston Public Schools to host the Mendell Mile. This untimed race invited children in grades 1-5 to run 1 mile. We had a total of 206 children running at this event alone. It is our goal to make all of our events free for our youth runners in the future.

 

Beyond the events we host, we partnered with local youth programs at the end of 2019 such as: ChildObesity180, Girls on the Run, Boys & Girls Club, Title IX Girls, and Road to the Right Track. These partnerships help drive youth engagement in all of our races, inspire children to be active, and support the work these organizations do.

Road Races

The picture below is from our 2020 Charity Dash 5K. 

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Due to Covid19, Boston Road Runners was unable to host as many events as previous year. In 2020, BRR hosted and organized 3 road race events.

Paid events included:

  • Charity Dash 5k 

  • The 21 Mile Long Run 

  • The 19 Mile Long Run 

All three paid events in 2020 were fairly popular. The Charity Dash had 87 participants, the 21 Mile Long Run had 95 participants and the 19 Mile Long Run had 59 Participants. The three races totaled at 241 runners in 2020.

Among these participants, the majority in 2020 were female. 150 females and 91 males attended road races hosted by BRR.

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The distribution of participant age groups follows a nice bell curve, as seen in the graphic below, with the majority of the runners being in the 30-39 year-old age group.

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Of those who chose to answer, the majority of participants were caucasian. In total there were 4 different racial groups represented at the three different paid events.

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The majority of paid event participants were from cities located in the area surrounding Boston and Eastern Massachusetts. However, New York was included in the top 5 runner locations for 2020 paid events. 

Top 5 locations include:

  • Boston

  • Brookline

  • Newton

  • New York

  • Somerville 

Even with fewer races in 2020, BRR was still able to attract an international crowd. Participants were from a total of 10 states and 2 countries.

Run Club Events

The picture below is from our Saturday Run Clubs from 2020. 

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In 2020 Boston Road Runners was able to host 7 run club (free) events. One of these events included a Covid19 safe virtual running challenge.

These events included:

  • Boston Cupcake Run 

  • Boston Virtual Running Challenge 

  • The Spooky Run

  • The Turkey Trot 5k

  • Shenanigans 

  • Summer Run Fest 

  • The Donut Run 

In 2020 BRR had 403 participants across all of their unpaid events. The most popular even this year was the Boston Cupcake Run with a total of 156 runners.

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The majority of participants at these events were female. 138 participants were male and 265 participants were female.

In 2020, runners ranged in age from 6 to 63 years old. The run club events saw larger participation from the younger crowd than from the older crowd. The largest age group was between 19 and 29 years old with 181 participants.

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Of those who chose to respond, the majority of participants at these events were caucasian. There was representation from 5 different racial groups across the board at these events.

Similar to the road races, these run club events had international participation. There was representation from 5 different countries and 21 states. As expected, the most common participant hometowns were all in the boston area. 

Top 5 locations include:

  • Boston 

  • Cambridge 

  • Somerville 

  • Brookline 

  • Brighton 

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Donations

We would like to thank all of our donors for their support over the years. Without donations, Boston Road Runners would be unable to put on events for our community to come together and participate in. We appreciate all contributions, and we are grateful for the time and energy given from our donors; they have played a vital role in helping us come so far as a nonprofit.  

If you are interested in making a donation, please click:

Partners

Thank you to everyone who makes Boston Road Runners possible, including our runners, volunteers, donors, and sponsors! We are very grateful that we are able to continue to grow our community. We love our runners and the positive impact that we are able to make on their lives. All of us at Boston Road Runners are so thankful for the support from sponsors and partners that allows us to do what we do.

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