Gleason Family YMCA holds final 5K road race in Onset

By Meghan Neely | May 19, 2018
Photo by: Meghan Neely Runners leave the starting line at the Gleason Family YMCA 5k Road Race.

Participants in the 16th annual Gleason Family YMCA 5K Road Race left the starting line at Marc Anthony's Pizzeria in Onset for the last time Saturday.

According to YMCA Special Event Coordinator Cathy Longfield, the Armed Forces Day event just isn’t attracting runners like it used to.

“A few years ago, we had over 200 people signing up,” Longfield said. “But today, there’s only 75.”

The race is a long-standing fundraiser in Wareham for the Y Cares Financial Aid Program, which helps those who struggle to afford the cost of a YMCA membership on their own.

Longfield says the YMCA plans to continue its fundraising efforts with different events, but participants crossing the finish line at Onset Pier were sad to see the race go.

“It’s a really good run,” said Courtney Napolitano. “I’ve been coming here for years, and I’m really going to miss it.”

“I just moved here from California,” said Steve Cryer, another participant in the race. “So it’s sad to know I won’t get to run this race again.”

According to Longfield, the decision to end the annual 5K follows more than just low attendance.

“There are so many 5Ks happening in Cape Cod,” Longfield said. “The market is saturated, and they all support really good causes. We want to be thinking outside of the box moving forward and getting more people involved.”

Longfield said events like the YMCA’s Spin-A-Thon had drawn huge crowds, and she’s hopeful that attendance will carry over to other fundraisers, such as their Mayhem for a Cause wrestling event.

“It’s all very new to us,” Longfield said. “But we’re excited to see how it goes.”

The first place finisher on Saturday was Eric Homes of Wareham with a time of 16:59. The first woman to finish was Courtney Napolitano of Plymouth with a time of 20:43.

For complete race results, visit www.jbrace.com.

Runner Steve Cryer warms up before the starting line. (Photo by: Meghan Neely)
First place winner Eric Homes after crossing the finish line. (Photo by: Meghan Neely)
Air Force Technical Sgt. Lonnie Ulrich (left) and National Guard Sgt. Ryan Canha. (Photo by: Meghan Neely)
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