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Jimmy Fund Walk returns to Boston Marathon course

After two virtual years, walkers will be back on the legendary route raising money for Dana-Farber.

Kelli Pedroia, Ashley Papelbon, Adele Jenks, Betsy Gonzalez, Lindsay Buchholz, Kelsey Hawkins, and Marie Whitney took part in a previous Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk.

Returning to the famed course for the first time since 2019, participants in the annual Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk will hit the pavement Oct. 2 in support of an effort that has raised more than $155 million over the past 33 years.

Those funds continue to support all forms of adult and pediatric cancer research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and this year walkers can join the fight by choosing one of five ways to participate. They could walk the entire marathon route, which covers 26.1 miles from Hopkinton; they could go 13.1 miles, starting in Wellesley; they could begin in Newton, and traipse 6.2 miles; they could walk to the finish line from Dana-Farber, which is a distance of 3.1 miles; or they could “walk their way” by joining virtually and setting their own course.

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Organizers say the Jimmy Fund Walk is the only permitted walk on the legendary route, and they will adorn the course with poster-sized photos of Jimmy Fund patients every half-mile. There will also be periodic refueling stations, and all four of the in-person routes lead to Copley Square, where finishers will be celebrated with food, music, and a speaking program. 

The festivities in Copley will be open until 6:30 p.m., with start times as follows, depending on location:

  • Hopkinton: 5:30 – 7:30 a.m. (rolling start)
  • Wellesley: 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. (rolling start)
  • Newton: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (rolling start)
  • Dana-Farber: Check-in 12:00 – 1:45 p.m. (Official Start – 1:45 p.m.)

Participants must register, and can do so through the walk’s official site. Donations are also accepted there.

“Throughout the Jimmy Fund Walk’s 33-year history, we have raised money to support our lifesaving mission, and the pandemic didn’t stop us,” said Zack Blackburn, Director of the Jimmy Fund Walk. Over the past two years, we saw our teams walk virtually and celebrate in their own unique way. Now, we welcome them to walk the course in person. We are back, and we are stronger than ever.”

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