HSTF gears up for annual run

HYDE SQ.—The Hyde Square Task Force (HSTF), a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of youths, is gearing up for its third annual 5K run/walk on June 7 that promotes healthy living and raises money for the organization.

Runners and walkers will have three different routes to pick from that go through the Jamaica Plain neighborhood, but all of them start at the former Blessed Sacrament Church, which HSTF recently bought and plans to turn into community space.

“This is one of our biggest community events of the year,” said Emma Blaxter, special projects and team administrator at HSTF. “It is a lot of fun.”

She said after runners and walkers complete the course, there will be a barbecue, music and “fun family activities.”

Alexis Agrinsoni, HSTF Rookie Runners coordinator, said the 5K event is “extremely important” because it “promotes and engages families, especially minorities” in “healthy living.” He said healthy living is key to fight such ailments as high-blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. Agrinsoni said it is also important to promote running because it is “easy and free,” as a person only needs sneakers and pavement.

Blaxter said that research has shown that minorities are underrepresented in the running world, with most runners being highly educated white people. The idea behind HSTF’s Rookie Runners program is to engage the primarily minority youth of the neighborhood to participate in running. The 5K event is the culmination of the program.

Agrinsoni said the event drew 100 participants the first year and 300 last year. He said HSTF has set a goal of 500 participants for the June 7 event.

For more information, visit hydesquare.org/events.

The Hyde Square Task Force’s 5K run/walk last year. (Courtesy Photo)

The Hyde Square Task Force’s 5K run/walk last year. (Courtesy Photo)

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