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300 Walk for City's Elderly

Race's Proceeds to Benefit New Senior Center

By June Shih

Just hours before hundreds of local veterans and their supporters gathered in the Cambridge Common this weekend to honor the U.S. troops who served in the Gulf, Mayor Alice K. Wolf kicked off a charity road race with a symbolic gesture against military violence.

Wolf refused to fire a pistol to start the race, and instead begun the "Stride for Seniors" competition with a bullhorn.

Three hundred area runners, clad in neon racing shorts and tee-shirts emblazoned with the VERITAS of race-sponsor Harvard University on the back, gathered at the Fresh Pond Clubhouse for the city's fifth annual Five Mile Road Race. The proceeds from this year's race will help fund the soon-to-be-constructed city-wide senior center.

The competitors included Councillor Edward N. Cyr, a rollerblader and 25 Cambridge elders, many of whom belong to the Energetics, a walking club for seniors that meets weekly.

Admiring the Aged

"It's good that the seniors are participating. It shows that they care about the center. I admire them," said Councillor Sheila T. Russell, who chairs the committee on elder affairs.

Kathie Filsinger, who directs the Council On Aging, said the race, which is the second largest in the area, had already raised $20,000 in corporate sponsorships and entry fees. Harvard, the competition's largest sponsor, gave $4000 to the cause.

Somerville resident Thomas Murdoch, who said he runs the course regularly at lunch, won the race, completing the five-mile course in less than 27 minutes.

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