Wellesley residents running Charles River 5K

Steve Nocka and his daughter, Kristen, will run in the Charles River Center 5K Run/1 Mile Walk for the fourth time this fall.

When asked why they return every year for this particular 5K Steve says, “It’s a great course — the final hill isn’t that bad! — and I really enjoy the after-party. For me, it has also been an opportunity for some father-daughter time, and it is great knowing that we are supporting such a wonderful organization.”

This year, the race is Sunday, September 22, at 11:00. The USA Track and Field-certified course begins and ends at the Charles River Center, located on 59 East Militia Heights Drive, Needham, and loops through scenic back roads in Wellesley and Needham. Annually, about 600 participants run or walk, and then enjoy an after-party that includes entertainment, activities for kids and food tents hosted by many local restaurants. Runners and walkers come from 44 towns in Massachusetts, but also from all over New England and New York state.

“I worked with the Charles River Center as a business client many years ago and was very impressed with the work that they did within the community," says Nocka, a Wellesley resident and an executive with Root Capital in Cambridge. "Three years ago, when I learned that Charles River hosted a 5K, I signed up for it and have been running it ever since.”

The race is a major fundraiser for Charles River Center. The proceeds benefit more than 950 children and adults with developmental disabilities, including autism and Down syndrome. Programs and services include day habilitation, employment services, residential homes and family support programs and services.

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