Marblehead Road Race Series kicks off on May 21

Participants run for Miles for Mary 5K last year. Photo by Nate Walton

The Marblehead Road Race Series (MRRS) will resume its four running and walking events on Sunday, May 21, with the goal of supporting local and non-local causes.

The series will kick off with the Head to the Hill 5K walk, which will start and finish at the Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA.

The funding acquired from the Head to the Hill race will go towards the YMCA Corner Stone program, which works with cancer patients, survivors, and their families to provide support and access to events and services.

“Our race this year is going to directly benefit our Corner Stone program,” said race director Brian Flynn, “which is a complimentary year-long membership for those who have cancer or cancer survivors within five years of remission.”

A complimentary week of summer camp for children in the family and a schedule of offerings such as nutrition seminars, mindfulness events, and walking clubs is also offered through Corner Stone.

Corner Stone also provides access to the YMCA Livestrong program, which is designed to promote physical activity among cancer survivors.

To learn more or to register for the Head to the Hill 5K race, please visit

Next on the series itinerary is Run for the Fund, sponsored by Marblehead Dollars for Scholars. The race will take place on Sunday, Oct. 1, and aims to raise funds to provide need-based college scholarships to Marblehead students.

“Since the organization was founded, we’ve provided over $4.2 million in scholarships and are getting ready to award scholarships to the 2023 graduating class,” said Jennie Sheridan, race director of Run for the Fund.

Typically, around 50 to 60 scholarships are awarded each year. Students can apply online when the application opens in the spring. The primary requirements to earn a scholarship are based on the financial needs of the student.

To learn more or to register for the Run for the Fund race, please visit run-for-the-fund.

MRRS will continue on Saturday, Oct. 14, with Miles for Mary, a 5K walk that will take place at Devereux Beach and loop around Marblehead Neck. The goal of this event is to support brain cancer research at Mass General Cancer Center, working alongside Dr. Elizabeth Gerstner.

“Interestingly this year, they are now enrolling in a clinical trial for a CAR T-Cell approach to treating glioblastoma, and that’s a technique that has worked well in other circumstances,” said Bill Park, race director of Miles for Mary.”It’s still experimental in the case of glioblastoma, but they’re hopeful and we hope to see more there.”

Park’s wife Mary died 10 years ago of glioblastoma. Miles for Mary has raised over $600,000 in funding so far.

“This CAR T-Cell approach is a method of immunotherapy where you get your own body to create the cells to fight the disease and so these are cells that are taken out of your body. They are treated in the lab and reinjected into you to be able to get your body into trying to fight brain cancer,” Park said.

To learn more or to register for the Miles for Mary race, please visit

MRRS will conclude its series on Sunday, Nov. 5 with the Rotary Club 5K. The race will commence and conclude at the Boston Yacht Club and aims to support all Marblehead schools with Inner Explorer, a mindfulness program that supports mental health.

“We provided eight of the nine schools in Marblehead with a mindfulness application licensing pay,” said Nancy Gwin, co-chair of the Rotary Club. “The kids could use the application to help them have a set of skills to deal with anxiety and stress and life and it is available to all the families as well.”

So far, about 7,000 schools across the country use Inner Explorer. Gwin aims to make it part of the curriculum in Marblehead.

To learn more or to register for the Rotary Club race, please visit

Contenders who participate in all four races, known as completing a “grand slam,” will earn a Craft sportswear hooded sweatshirt.