5K – The Play Brigade


The Play Brigade logo


Runners, General Field

Competitive and recreational runners

The Play Brigade logo



Recreational walkers and athletes with disabilities who choose to participate at a walking pace with or without assistive devices

The Play Brigade logo


Duo Division

One athlete pushing an athlete with a disability in a racing wheelchair or racing stroller

The Play Brigade logo


Push-rim Division

Athlete who uses a manual or push-rim wheelchair to compete

The Play Brigade logo



Athlete who competes in a recumbent or other manual wheelchair using a hand apparatus to pedal and steer

The Play Brigade logo


Power Mobility

Athletes who use power wheelchairs, scooters, or other powered medically necessary devices for ambulation

The Play Brigade logo


Stroller Division

Athlete pushing up to two children in a recreational stroller

The Play Brigade logo

Visually Impaired

Visually Impaired Division

Athlete who is legally blind and competing with or without guides (Up to two guides allowed)

The Play Brigade logo

Other Disabilities

Athletes with Disabilities, Other

Any athlete with an invisible or other disability wishing to identify and register as such

The Play Brigade logo


Corporate Teams

Show your commitment to your organization and community by entering team/s of runners to compete for best corporate time and/or charitable fundraising efforts for The Play Brigade

The Play Brigade logo


Charity Partners

Create a charity team to raise awareness and funds for your own 501(c)(3) organization

A Different Race

This is no ordinary road race. There is a vast group of competitive and recreational runners who don’t fit into the categories offered in typical races. The Play Brigade 5k is the first of its kind in Boston to welcome runners of all fitness levels, as well as physical or cognitive abilities, without exception. Please join us in this landmark event that celebrates the ability of every individual — a run for everyone!

About The Play Brigade

The Play Brigade raises awareness of "inclusion" as a social problem, illustrating how individuals and entire communities benefit when every person has the opportunity to participate and belong. We focus on play, recreation, and sports & fitness — anything a typical person could do for fun that could be met with significant obstacles by someone who has a disability.

We move the needle for social change by forming allies with leaders who have the ability to effect change in their organization or municipality, by helping organizations become more successful by becoming more inclusive, and by demonstrating (through projects like all-abilities road races and universally accessible playgrounds) true inclusion and its benefits to communities and society as a whole — far beyond just something that affects the 20% of people in America. All money raised by The Play Brigade goes directly back into this community.

Event Timeline

7:30 AM - Event registration to open
8:30 AM - Speaking program
9:00 AM - Race start
10:30 AM - Awards Program


Boston Common


Charles Street between the Public Gardens and Boston Common


  • Awards will be given to placing participants in each division.
  • Top placing corporate teams.
  • Top charity fundraising teams as of 10/13/18.
  • All finishers in 5k and 1k will receive a finisher’s medal.

5K Course

Walking Course

More Info

Event Details

Saturday, October 13, 2018
9:00 a.m. start
Boston Common
Charles Street, between the Public Gardens and Boston Common

Directions / Parking

We encourage you to arrive at the Boston Common early as several of the roads surrounding the Common will be closed. Use of public transportation is strongly recommended. The race site is within easy walking distance of the Boylston or Arlington Street MBTA Stops (Green Line) or Park Street MBTA Stop (Red or Green Line). Parking on race day is available at the Boston Common Garage, and will be open for entry until 8:30 AM. It will be closed for entry from 8:30 AM until 10:00 AM. You can also expect exit delays from 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM.

If you have questions about special parking needs, please call Conventures at 888-767-RACE.

What to Bring

Race number with ChronoTrack Timing Tag, safety pins, site plan of race activities, and warm-up clothing.

Number & T-shirt Pickup

EARLY PICKUP: Bib numbers and t-shirts can be picked up Friday, 10/12, Heartbreak Hill Running Company’s South End location, 652 Tremont St., Boston, between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Those who pick up in store will get a 20% discount off anything purchased in the store at the time of pickup.

RACE DAY PICKUP: You can pick up your bib number and t-shirt at the registration tent on the day of the race, beginning at 7:30 a.m.

Water Stations and Mile Markers

There will be two water stations along the 5k route and one on the 1k route on the Boston Common. Each mile of the 5k route will be clearly marked with a mile marker sign.


All participants: Please complete the backside of your bib number with emergency contact information, as well as any medical concerns and/or allergies Boston EMS should know in an emergency.

Medical assistance will be located at the start/finish and will be supported by Boston EMS bike teams.

If you need help during the race, move to the side of the course and contact the nearest course marshal, volunteer, or police officer. They will alert the Boston EMS medical bike team or ambulance that medical assistance is needed. If you see another runner in distress, please notify the nearest course marshal or police officer with the injured runner’s location and bib number if available.


You will receive event emails with seeding details prior to the race, and the website will be updated as seeding is finalized. We anticipate seeding based on participant categories, as well as seeding that maximizes groups participating across multiple categories, while maintaining course and athlete safety.

Race Timing

The race will be timed by the Chronotrack B-Tag, a single use microchip contained in your bib numbers. In order to receive an accurate time, please confirm your bib is:

  • Clearly visible on the front of the torso
  • Unaltered and unmodified (do not fold or wrinkle)
  • Pinned in all four corners
  • Not covered (jackets, runner belts, water bottles, etc.)
Instant results on site and emailed directly to you.

Results / Awards

Awards will be given to the top three in each category.

Fundraising / Charity Partners

We welcome individuals and groups to use this race as an opportunity to raise funds for The Play Brigade. The race registration website will allow you the opportunity to fundraise as an individual, create a fundraising team, or join an existing team. Through your generosity and ambassadorship, we are able to engage leaders, conduct demonstration projects (like this race and accessible playground equipment), and empower people with and without disabilities to get involved and build a more inclusive community with more fun for everyone.

If you would like to create a team to raise funds for another Boston-area nonprofit, please email info@playbrigade.com for information on our Charity Partners Program, or call 781-763-PLAY.


Our volunteers are critical to making our events a success. Volunteering is a great way to be involved, whether you are an athlete or not. Our volunteers assist with activities leading up to race day and/or on race day itself, and are needed in every area, including medical, number and t-shirt pick-up, water stations, set-up and break-down, clean-up, recycling, finishers’ medal presentation, and much more. If you would like to volunteer, email playbrigade5k@conventures.com.

Sponsorship / Corporate Teams

We encourage corporate partners to engage their employees as volunteers and ambassadors for inclusion. You can find out more about our many levels of corporate sponsorship opportunities here. Please email info@playbrigade.com to discuss sponsorship opportunities, or call 781-763-PLAY.

Race Day Details

Important Race Information

We want to make sure that you have all of the information you need to prepare for the ultimate race day experience!


There are two ways to pick up your race bib:

1. Pick up your bib on Friday 10/12 at the Heartbreak Hill Running Company South End Store located at 652 Tremont St., Boston. Pick-up hours are from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., and people who pick up their bib in the store will receive a 20% storewide discount!

2. Pick up your bib at the Boston Common starting at 7:30 a.m. on race day.

Questions? Visit playbrigade.com/5k or email playbrigade5k@conventures.com for more information.

  • Staging Area — Boston Common at Charles Street.
  • Take the T! Public transportation is encouraged.
  • Parking suggested at the BOSTON COMMON GARAGE - Arrive by 8:30 AM to avoid road closures.
  • Baggage Claim is available for your convenience.
  • 2 Water stations along the course as well as water and snacks at the finish!
  • Race day results provided.

Finish Line

ONCE YOU HAVE CROSSED THE FINISH LINE, keep moving onto the Boston Common as we need to keep the finish line open and clear for all!

These guideline are to provide a safe and enjoyable running experience for all participants.


  • Light snacks and water will be provided at the finish line.
  • Joint Ventures Physical Therapy and Fitness will provide post-race recovery in their tent, including stretching, massage, and hydration for those who need it.
  • A privacy tent is available for changing, nursing, and other care that requires privacy.

Participant Guides & Volunteers

If your family needs an extra pair of hands during the race, please contact playbrigade5k@conventures.com. We have a small pool of volunteers willing to provide race guide services that do not include medical care. Guides will be assigned on a first come, first served basis, and arrangements must be made prior to race day.

If you do not want to participate but still want to be involved, VOLUNTEER! Please email playbrigade5k@conventures.com and we will be happy to put you to work.


We encourage all runners to share their race day photos with us! Please use the facebook hashtag #playbrigade5K, and the Instagram and Twitter tags @playbrigade5k!

Baggage Claim

Please check back for more information closer to race day.


Runner Courtesy

Due to the size and breadth of the field in this unique race, consideration of your fellow runners is essential to ensure a safe race for all. If you must stop running at any point during the race to rest, take a photograph, or any other reason, please pull off to the side before you stop.

The Start

SEED YOURSELF APPROPRIATELY. The Start Line is on Charles Street between Boylston & Beacon Streets. Make sure you listen to race day announcements and go to the correct location. Pay close attention to the signage in the road at the start. There will be corrals for each participating category; please feel free to choose your own corral on event day. We do want you to participate with your friends, family, and new friends you make on event day!


IF YOU NEED TO STOP FOR ANY REASON, move to the side of the road or off the course. If you are in need of assistance, please ask any of our volunteers on the course and they can get you the help you need. There will be medical assistance on the course as well as uniformed officers in the event you need help.

Water Stations

We all get thirsty, and those water stations sure do get messy. Here are a few tips:

If you are not thirsty, stay in the middle of the road. This is the clearest path.

If you are thirsty, please look to the left and right of you before merging to the water tables. Chances are there are people surrounding you on both sides; make sure you are not cutting off a fellow runner.

Stopping to take a drink - Running and drinking at the same time is difficult, and stopping short can cause injury for other runners. If you need to slow down or stop to take a drink, proceed to the end of the tables, move to the side, and slow down before stopping.

Discarding your cup - Do not toss your cup in the air. Either drop your cup at your feet or below waist level and to the side. Volunteers will clear the course.



We ask that participants that are moving at a FAST pace to stay to the left of the road. Participants that are choosing the one-mile loop or are enjoying a slower pace, please stay to the right of the road. This will make for an enjoyable race for all!

If you see someone who looks like they need help, tell a race representative or volunteer and take note of which mile marker they were closest to.

Past and Current Sponsors

Boston Foundation
John Hancock
Joint Ventures
Charlesgate Realty
Prudential Center
Heartbreak Hill Running Company
Rudeman Foundation
Mix 104
Carpenter's Union