The Bellingham Challenge 5K started in April of 2006 as a fundraiser for the BHS Track Team and the newly developed Girl's Lacrosse Team. The track team was looking to upgrade and improve equipment used at their meets that would better serve the needs of their participants. The Girl's Lacrosse Team was required to fund their program 100% on their own for at least the first two years. This meant finding creative ways to raise funds during the 10 week season to pay for all expenses associated with running an athletic team a coach, uniforms, buses, officials, equipment, etc., as well as plan for the possibility of adding a future Junior Varsity team. A tight athletic budget prohibited additional funds from being available to either program to reach these goals, so the booster clubs decided to unite and take on the task of doing their own fundraising.
As of 2010, the track booster club had saved enough to purchase two clock display units that are extremely helpful for runners and spectators to view times at the finish line, as well as around the track. The clocks are used at both practices and meets. They also purchased a canopy tent system that is used for sun and weather protection for participants at outdoor home and away events. In addition, they have started to outfit the track team with warm-up jacket and pant sets.
For the lacrosse team, two years of self-support funding stretched into three before their Varsity team was finally accepted into the schools athletic budget. The Girl's Lacrosse Booster Club continues to support team activities, and in 2010, they sponsored their first Junior Varsity team and coach.
Since 2011 the 5k Race is hosted solely by the BHS Girl's Lacrosse Team. The booster club's goals are to continue supporting the high school girls teams while extending the opportunity to play lacrosse at the middle and elementary school levels by holding a free clinic, a summer camp and purchasing equipment for the middle and elementary schools so that lacrosse may be introduced during physical education. We therefore rely heavily on proceeds from the Bellingham Challenge 5K as an important source of seasonal income to continue being able to offer lacrosse to the girls of Bellingham.
Each year the Bellingham Challenge 5K continues to attract participants from all age groups from many cities and towns within New England and across the country. In 2006, there we started with 77 registered runners, in 2008 there were 180! In 2009, runners ranged in age from eight to 75 and came from as far away as Hollis, New Hampshire! In 2012 we were up to 267 registered participants!
Come join us for a morning of fun, raffles and feeling good about completing a challenging course that will help the student athletes at the same time! For information about how you can help as a sponsor or race volunteer, please go to the Sponsorship and Donation page.
Bellingham Challenge 5K Road Race Committee