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Photos: Fun run craze hits south of Boston

Posted by boston.com  October 17, 2013 02:15 PM

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Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Runners at the start line of the Electric Run at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 4. More than 15,000 runners partcipated in the run and the start was staggered with aproximinately 2,000 runners leaving the start line every 15 minutes.

On a sunny Saturday last month, thousands of women in colorful gear descended on the Marshfield Fairgrounds for the Shape Diva Dash over a obstacle course. The Dash is among the rapidly growing number of 5K fun runs, obstacle races, mud runs, and endurance activities mostly put on by for-profit, out-of-state companies that bill them more like social events. For the most part, the companies align themselves with national or local charities. But critics argue that because the companies are private, they are not required to divulge how much goes to charity. Nonprofit road race organizers argue that the rapid growth of fun runs hurts their own fund-raising efforts.

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