Friday, April 12, 2024

A new June 5K begins and ends at REI Cambridge in North Point. (Photo: Marc Levy)

Cambridge is getting a new run in June: The REI Co-op 5K at Cambridge Crossing.

The outdoor equipment retailer opened a “small-format neighborhood store” focused on running and bicycling gear Oct. 1. The event, planned for June 5, doubles down on the focus.

“Running is a way that connects many of us to the outdoors, and we hope that runners of all levels join us with an early kickoff to summer,” said Monika Bach, regional manager of local marketing for REI.

The event starts and finishes at the REI Cambridge store at 181 Morgan Ave. with a double-loop course that explores the Cambridge Crossing development in North Point and the waterfront along the neighborhood’s North Point Park.

One thing runners won’t see during this Sunday run: churches or other places of worship. North Point has none, which makes it ideal for bringing an additional 5K to the city. The inconvenience of having roads closed for races – especially on Sundays, when people are trying to get to church – inspired then-mayor E. Denise Simmons to ask city staff in 2017 to explain how permission for races is granted and how the costs and benefits balance out. That led to harsher requirements for race planners in November 2017, such as a five-fold expansion of required charitable contributions of $5,000 or 60 percent of net revenues, whichever was higher, and the responsibility of paying all police details and staff overtime needed for safety. City Manager Louis A. DePasquale capped the number of runs to 17 a year and said, “if we lose one of the 17, there will be a question of whether we let someone substitute in.”

Races held solely for kids, such as annual events run by CambridgeSide and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, were exempt from the new rules.

There are nine runs listed for Cambridge this year including the REI Co-op 5K. With the Danehy Park parkrun and Cambridge City Run from this month complete, the next events are the Bionic 5K on April 24; and Spring Classic 5K on May 1. After REI’s event is a Summer Classic 5K set for July 14; a Fall Classic 5K on Sept. 18; the Cambridge Half Marathon on Nov. 6; and the Winter Classic 5K on Dec. 4.

Information about the REI Co-op 5K at Cambridge Crossing and its post-race celebration, including how to register, is here. Signups are $40 through Monday, then go to $42, rising to $45 on race day.