The opportunity for everyone in a community to participate in the same activity does not come around often. Accessibility issues often arise for people with disabilities, and if there are events designed for this population they are often separate from able-bodied sports. Luckily for Boston-area residents, The Play Brigade 5k will fill the gap this weekend.
Competitors will take off at 9am on Saturday, October 13th on a loop starting and finishing at the Boston Common. The 5k race, which will lead to awards in several categories, will start with a half-loop around the Boston Public Garden, head down Commonwealth Avenue in the scenic Back Bay area, and loop back around the rest of the Public Garden. There will also be a one-kilometer walking course that takes participants around the Public Garden.
What sets the Play Brigade 5k apart from other similar races and events is the wide range of categories available. Competitors can sign up as a runner, walker, duo (runner pushing a wheelchair user or a stroller), push-rim wheelchair racer, handcyclist, power-wheelchair user, or visually-impaired runner with a guide. If none of these categories fit, it is also possible to sign up under “other disability” which includes any other physical, mental, or invisible disability not listed above. Combined with the fact that anyone can sign up no matter their fitness level, the Play Brigade 5k is truly an all-inclusive event.
While this will certainly be an amazing event to raise awareness for accessibility and inclusivity in Boston, the most exciting aspect is the people it will bring together. One featured runner and guest speaker for this year’s race is John Young, a native of Salem, MA. Young became the first athlete with dwarfism to complete an IronMan Triathlon in 2016 and is currently challenging himself to complete 12 marathons in 12 months.
The Athletes Roll team will be in Boston tomorrow to cover this wonderful event and meet some of the athletes participating. We hope we will see you there whether you’d like to run, walk, roll, volunteer, or cheer on the competitors! Head to The Play Brigade 5k’s website for more information. You can sign up to race here and volunteer here. Bib pickup starts at 7:30am and the race starts at 9!