AYER — The Janis Bresnahan Run for Education is set for Sunday, May 21, with proceeds to benefit the Ayer Shirley Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization that funds educational and enrichment programs in the Ayer Shirley Regional School District’s four schools.
The run is named for Janis Bresnahan, an Ayer High School alumnus who died in a tragic accident nearly 20 years ago. The following year, her family and close friends launched the Janis Bresnahan 5K Run for Education as an annual fundraiser that supports local schools. Organizers have said the event reflects its namesake’s local roots and honors her lifelong dedication to children’s education.
The run is a fitting tribute on another level, as Janis was also an avid outdoor enthusiast and high school athlete who co-captained the women’s track team in her senior year at Ayer High School.
Besides the main event — a 5K run with several age categories ranging from under 10 to 60 and over — there’s also a 2k walk/fun run for all ages and a tot trot for the little ones, ages 2 to 6.
The registration fee is $20 for the 5K and 2K runs; $15 for the tot trot. Although registration is open until the day of the event, the fee is $5 more at the gate. The first 300 pre-registered participants get an added perk: a Janis Bresnahan Run tee shirt.
Details and registration forms are available on the website janisbresnahanrunforeducation.com.
Besides the run, walk and tot trot, the event, which starts with registration at 10 am at Ayer Shirley Regional High School, 14 Washington St., Ayer, includes a variety of activities, with refreshments and bathroom facilities available at the high school. The 5K run begins at noon.
Prizes include $100 each to the two top winners — male and female, respectively — of the 5K race.
Sponsors — area businesses and individual donors — are listed in four categories, Premier, Legacy, Platinum and gold. Topping the premier list is Main Street Bank. Piccolino’s Bar & Grill, a family-owned restaurant in Shirley, heads up the Legacy List.