Runners line up for the start of Sunday’s 3rd Annual Superhero Hallowe’en 5K Run/Walk. Front row, l. to r.: the Teenage Schoolwork Sentinels team, award-winners in the Fantastic Four category – Stephen Reilly 254, Jordan Chabot 255, Scott Kaplan 257, and Tyler Kaufman 256 of Sharon, MA. Next to them are Steve Masterson 9590 of Allston (as Lorenzo, the Ninja Turtle); John Werner 9601, David Knight 9599, and Antonio Tugores 808 (as Zorro), all from Brookline; Calin Peters 9613 of Cambridge (as Underdog); and Steven Schuler 846 of Palo Alto, CA (as Redonk). Tugores, Masterson, Werner, and Schuler finished in the top ten men overall with gun times* ranging from 17:12 to 20:36.
Local Superheroes – almost 500 of them – got into their spandex on Sunday morning, October 30, gathered their mighty powers and zoomed over to the Pacific Street Park entrance on Tudor Street to compete in the 3rd Annual Superhero Hallowe’en 5K Run/Walk.
Slushy snow and freezing temperatures from Saturday’s freak nor’easter couldn’t stop them. Have2Run (http://have2run.com), the Boston company that puts on the event, had sent out the word: the race was on.
“After all, we’re superheroes, aren’t we?”
Photo, left: About a dozen young heroes lined up in the snow for an informal kids’ 50-yard dash before the main event, which included categories for registered runners 10 years old and under, as well as for older kids aged 11-19.
Racers represented a host of larger-than-life characters – everybody from Aquaman to Zorro. Batpersons and Superfolk, Spidermen and Wonder Women mingled with Scottish chieftains, Masters of the Universe, Rainbow Headz, a Rat Fink, a Chicken Boy, and a towering Aku from "Samurai Jack." Adam and Eve braved the cold in their traditional fig leaves, but like Captain Underpants and his crew, they had flesh-colored tights as well. One runner – Paul Beltrani of Arlington – listed his persona as “Hate2Run.” Some people even ran as themselves.
And by the way, if you’re seeking a speedy superhero for your own racing role model, here’s a tip: Zorro, (a.k.a. Antonio Tugores) was the fastest, at 17 minutes 12 seconds for the 5-kilometer course. Leonardo, the Ninja Turtle (a.k.a. Steve Masterson) was close behind him with a time of 17:34.
Photo: Runners pass City Hall.
The heroes (and a few villains) set out at 10 a.m. from Pacific Street Park and headed up to Central Square via Massachusetts Ave. After passing City Hall, they circled the block at Bay Street and came back to the starting point.
The race was impressive in terms of numbers, with 489 registered runners packing Tudor Street for half a block as they waited for the starting signal. Full results at http://www.coolrunning.com/results/11/ma/Oct30_Superh_set1.shtml include rankings, times, and hero i.d. if any, for individual runners and age/gender categories and for theme groups – Heroes vs. Villains, Fantastic Four, and Magnificent Seven. Timing and scoring were handled by Granite State Race Services of Newport, NH: http://www.gsrs.com.
Proceeds from the race will benefit On The Rise, Inc., a Cambridge non-profit organization located at 341 Broadway. On the Rise's day programs aid women who are homeless or in crisis. http://ontherise.org
Photo, left: Emma Bagnell (at right), the founder and director of Have2Run, presented a basket of Hallowe’en treats for the women at On The Rise to the organization's director Martha Sandler, who was piggy-backing her daughter through the snow.
Streets were mostly clear by race time, but the lawn in Pacific Street Park turned to mud as runners crossed the finish line and came in to join families and friends, collect goodies, admire each other, and watch as Bagnell announced winners and distributed awards.
Michael Michalski, 61, a Cambridge resident representing Santa Claus, was congratulated as the top (and only) male runner in his age group. Waving his award, he told the crowd, “I’ll see you all pretty soon . . . if you’re good.”
*“Gun time,” according to http://running.about.com/od/racetraining/f/chiptime.htm, is the official time for a race result, i.e., the time from the starting signal to the time the runner crosses the finish line. Results for the Superhero race are also given in terms of “net time,” which is the actual amount of time it takes the runner to go from the starting line to the finish line. Net time – also called chip time – is commonly measured by digital chips distributed to runners; it’s likely to be shorter than gun time for runners who are bunched up behind a crowd of others at the start of a race.