HOLYOKE — In continued efforts to expand the list of events to celebrate Pride month in June, Holyoke Pride will host its first Rainbow Run 5K at Ashley Reservoir on Saturday, June 8.

Holyoke Pride committee member Jeffery Anderson-Burgos told Reminder Publishing the Rainbow Run 5K comes from the continued efforts by the committee to expand on the renewed Holyoke Pride as this will now be a third straight year of celebrations during the month in the city. This year, like the last two, will be headlined by PrideFest on June 22.

Anderson-Burgos, a runner himself, said the running community is a supportive group which led him to the idea of the 5K being a part of the Pride Month celebrations.

“I got all of the information in time to start planning it out all this year and to me, I’ve been running for a really long time, so it seemed like a really nice melding of two different communities I belong to,” Anderson-Burgos said. “The running community is very supportive and very positive which I really love about it. And obviously being on the Pride committee its all about positivity and inclusion and community so to me that kind of made sense together.”

Bib pick up and same day registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. The race will begin at 10 a.m. To register online visit www.runsignup.com/Race/MA/Holyoke/HolyokePrideRainbowRun5K. Registration for the 5K is $30 and $25 for the one-mile fun walk. There will be same day registration available at the race.

Prizes will be awarded for top overall finishers, top age group finishers and a special prize for best drag. The committee asks that those participating for the best drag category wear sneakers and not heels.

Anderson-Burgos said as someone who didn’t grow up in Holyoke but now lives in the city he has grown to love the many cultures within the city.

“What tends to go along with that is opportunities to celebrate each other and to come together and there are a lot of ways that Holyokers try and do that,” Anderson-Burgos said. “I love that Holyokers try and find ways to bring community together. And particularly now when there’s a struggle in the world, I think that even highlights even more the need to come together in community and support and having these positive events and opportunities like this.”

Anderson-Burgos said even though he usually runs in races like this competitively, often many participating are doing so to get together with friends and or enjoy a walk on a nice day and that those interested should not see this as an intensely competitive event. He also added the Rainbow Run specifically could serve as a branch to getting more people involved with Pride committee events through volunteering.

The event planning hasn’t come without its bumps in the road, as following the abrupt closing of running shop and race organizer 4Run3 Holyoke Pride’s Rainbow Run 5K was one of the many events planned by charities or groups that was impacted by the closure.

“It took me by surprise because I’ve been organizing a race with them,” Anderson-Burgos said. “Because I have such a positive experience in running their races and going to their store, my initial reaction was sympathy for them because they were very passionate about the running community and that’s something I really respected.”

In a Facebook post on May 13, 4RUN3 owners Tim and Jill Murphy announced they had “financially lost everything,” in a statement regarding the sudden closure. They also said that COVID-19 pandemic-era restrictions contributed to the business failing.

Reminder Publishing staff writer Cliff Clark reported that despite the bankruptcy announcement a check of court records on Monday May 20 found no filings for 4RUN3 Inc., or the limited liability corporation 4RUN3 Racing LLC, registered with the office of William Galvin, the secretary of the commonwealth.

Anderson-Burgos explained 4RUN3 had been the race organizer initially for the Rainbow Run 5K but now he has taken control of the sign-up page provided by runsignup.com. Along with running the registration, 4RUN3 would also work to mark out the course and prepare bibs for runners with numbers and microchips to aid in timing.

Anderson-Burgos added that a good chunk of the money already received through earlier registrations at that point was already paid out to 4RUN3.

“So of course I’m asking when will we see this, you no longer are providing a service for us. I didn’t get any response,” Anderson-Burgos said. “Last week was very frustrating scrambling to try and make sure we can still make this happen.”

Thankfully due to his connections made in the running community, Anderson-Burgos said the event has stayed on track and is still a full go.

Anderson-Burgos added if he learns of other organizations who were left without some funds following this closure are coming together to try and recoup the losses, he would participate in that.

“Like I said I really feel for the situation that led them to needing to close up, but the lack of communication has been really frustrating and really disappointing. And a little bit surprising considering how passionate and supportive they have been of all of these organizations in the local community.”

In the meantime, he added it was nice to come out of that bump in the road now staring ahead to what should be a fun race day at Ashley Reservoir.

“We want to redirect toward the positive and looking forward to the event and making it a success,” Anderson-Burgos said. “Right now, we’ve had 57 people who signed up and when I started my goal was at least 75 so I’m feeling like we are on our way there.”

tlevakis@thereminder.com | + posts