Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women

Start strong, finish stronger--celebrating 32 years and running strong, the Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women is truly a testament to the power of women and a celebration of women's health and fitness.

Welcome to the Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women, a Columbus Day tradition, where Olympic athletes, aspiring elites, seasoned veterans, and first timers run together amid a scenic Boston backdrop.

Get ready to lace up on October 13, 2008 for this signature Boston event and see why it continues to be a memorable racing experience year after year for women runners of all ages and abilities.

The Boston Common Parade Grounds at noon is the place and time to be as thousands of women runners will have the opportunity to revel in a race that honors and celebrates their dedication and commitment to living a healthy lifestyle.

From its humble beginnings in 1977 as the Bonnie Belle Mini Marathon to its present day status as the premiere all women's race, the Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women has a lot to cheer about. History, prize structure, depth of field, and a commitment to excellence are some of the contributing factors to the race's success over three decades.

It is no wonder that the race is consistently selected by USA Track and Field (USATF) as the USA National 10K Championship for women. In addition, the race is also part of the 2008 Women's USA Running Circuit (USARC), a USA Track and Field road series featuring national championships. Results from all of the championship races are used in determining the standings on the circuit and who is eligible for prize money.

A Strong Start

The streets of Boston's Back Bay and Cambridge will be closed to traffic and are the ideal setting for this exciting, fast and mostly flat race. Runners start on Beacon Street just below the Massachusetts State House. In order to ensure a smooth start, runners will seed themselves according to their pace.

The Chrono Track timing system assures everyone her time will be precise as she crosses the finish line (net time begins when runners actually cross the starting line.)

As a participant in this event many times I can tell you it is impossible to stand at this starting line and not feel a surge of excitement, anticipation and camaraderie. This is really different. Look around, you are in good company! The paths that women have taken to get here may be different, but there is a definite "we are in it together" feeling.

That is just one of the things that make this race so special, and the feeling of camaraderie so palpable. "Just look at this--today we are the story," said one young woman, bouncing in anticipation of the start last year.

Classic Course

And they're off by the thousands! The anticipation and high spirits of the starting line continue as runners turn right onto stylish Charles Street. From the end of Charles Street, runners head toward the Longfellow Bridge over the beloved Charles River into Cambridge.

As runners head west on Memorial Drive, they hit the one mile mark while soaking in the scenic river view on their left with the famed halls of the MIT campus on their right. Many runners make the most of the fun and energizing tradition of shouting as they zip under the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge anticipating the two mile mark just ahead. What a sight as this multi-colored multitude streams across the bridge and along the Charles!

Runners set their sights on the Boston University Bridge as they continue to head west on Memorial Drive. What an amazing thrill it is to see the frontrunners that have already completed the turn-around at The Boston University Rotary, speeding their way down the eastbound lane of Memorial Drive. The sight of the elite field is certainly awe inspiring and it is guaranteed to be an exhilarating experience--a very personal experience you must gain for yourself.

Get ready for a hairpin turn at the MIT Sailing Pavilion, (the four mile mark is just after) as the athletes head back west toward Massachusetts Avenue and the Harvard Bridge.
"Once you make the turn you see thousands of women of all ages and abilities spread out for miles along the Charles River course--just awesome," says 32-year participant Mary Tyler.

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