About The 2020 Great Bear Run - Sunday, May 17, 2020

It's a major running event in the west suburbs of Boston. It's truly multi-generational.. It has many unique traditions. It is The Great Bear Run, Sunday, May 17, 2020 at Pollard School, 200 Harris Avenue, Needham MA 02492. Events include 5K Run, 1 Mile Run, 1 Mile Prostate Cancer Walk / Run, and many kids races. This year's 5K is dedicated to the memory of Talia Newfield and Adrienne Garrido.

--- Event Proceeds go to benefit Prostate Cancer Research---

Register here and Event Schedule and Directions and Results and GBR Records and Photos and View the Course
Virtual Racing
  • Can't run the 2020 Great Bear Run? Live too far away, out of town, injured or ill, time or event conflict?
  • Register as a Virtual Runner
  • You will receive a race medal, T-shirt, race booklet, runner number & teddy bear (children)
Age-Adjusted Awards
  • Tired of competing against 25-year-olds for overall trophies and cash?
  • Age-Adjusted Awards - similar to handicapping - we compare your time to everyone the same age running 5K or 1M across the country and give you a rating.
  • We compare age-adjusted ratings across the GBR field.
  • Top GBR ratings yield trophies (5K, 1M) and cash (in 5K)
  • This is in addition to our regular unadjusted finish awards.

Age Groups

5K: 0-6, 7 , 8, 9, 10, 11. 12. 13-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-85, 85-89, 90+
1M: 0-5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13-14, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+
400: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
200: 6
100: 4-5
Bearathon (26.2 yards) - 0-3

Early Runner Number Pickup

10 am - 12:00 pm on Saturday, May 16

Pollard School Parking Lot, 200 Harris Ave, Needham MA

Pick up your T-shirts and runner numbers

**NOTE -- You can always pick these up on race day.
  • Trophies to ALL age group 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places!!!
  • Full color cotton T-shirts to first 920 paid registrants!!!
  • Medals to all other runners
  • Teddy bears to ALL kids
  • Refreshments
  • Live Entertainment: Magic Shows, Face Painting, Crafts, the Great Bear, Music
  • $100 to 5K winners (regular & age-adjusted)
  • $300 to 1st runner breaking 14:45 in 5K
  • Large trophies to 1 Mile Run and 5K children age group winners
  • More information: Contact us.

Needham Bank 5K Grand Prix


  • Run the 5K in at least three of the following 2020 races: Needham New Years 5K (January 1), Great Bear Run (May 17), YMCA 5K (July 4), Jog Your Memory (September 13), BIGGSteps 5K (November 15) and qualify for cash awards
  • Run in 4 or 5 of the races and win a special Grand Prix prize
  • Compete for cash and other prizes
  • Fastest total time over 3 races wins: !st - $500, 2nd - $250, 3rd - $100
  • Best Age-Adjusted finishes win awards

Surprise Showers Don't Dampen the 2019 Great Bear Run

Hundreds of runners from from 50 towns and as far away as North Caroline from age 1 - 87 gathered for the 29th Great Bear Run on Sunday, May 19, 2019

Alex Kramer of Cambridge won the 5K in 16:22. 11-Year-Old Abby Artebence led the girls and women in 19:38. Octogenarians Phyllis Mays and Anthony Bellucci continued their regular appearances at the race.

The top 5K age adjusted finishers were Andrew Gardiner (.9061), Abby Artabence (.86) and Mary Jan O'Donnell (0.84)

12-Year-Old Miles Sandoski of Lincoln won the 1 Mile Run for the boys and men in 5:22. 12-Year-Old Francesca Keeley of Waltham topped the gals in 6:17

9-Year-Old Speedster Blake Carr of Needham broke the 16-year-old 400 meter record by 6 seconds in 1:12.5 . 9-Year-Old Eva Geddes sprinted a 1:20.9 400 in breaking another 16-year-old record for girls. 7-Year-Old Addison Bligen of Newton completed the record breaking with a time of 1:27.5 beating another 16-year-old record.
5K Run Records

22:43 Amelia Sinnett, West Newton (Girls - 9)
19:38 Abby Artabence, Sherborne (Girls - 11)
19:47 Nell Haney, Needham (Women - 19)
23:05 Mary Jane O'Donnell, Wellesley (W-64)
26:41 Karen Lein, Burlington (Women - 61)
28:33 Caron Strinai, Lynnfield (Women - 63)
39:24 Karen Ahern, West Roxbury (F - 70)
59:06 Phyllis Mays, Needham (Women - 87)

21:43 Alex Giaquinto, Quincy (Boys - Age - 8)
17:38 Alex Petersen, Brookline (M - Age - 15)
16:39 Andrew Gardiner, Dover (Men - 53)
18:48 Bruce Cullen, Needham (Men - 54)
22:06 Marshall Randolph, Wellesley (M - 70)
24:01 Dennis Herman, Wellesley (Men - 73)
33:22 Pauol Schell, Malden (Men - 81)
35:47 Tom Lawrence, Newton (Men - 82)
37:48 Kevin O'Farrell, Plymouth (Men - 80)
49:41 Anthony Cellucci, Needham (Men - 87)
400 Meter Run Records

1:27.5 Addison Bligen, Newton (Girls - Age 7)
1:20.9 Eva Geddes, Needham (Girls - Age 9)
1:12.5 Blake Carr, Needham (Boys - Age 9)
1 Mile Run Records

6:17 Amanda Pasko, Wellesley (Women - 23)
8:43 Karen Lein, Burlington (Women - 61)
5:22 Miles Sandowski, Lincoln (Boys - 12) tie
9:28 Tom Abbott, Natick (Men - 75)

Rain & Thunderstorm Forecast Fizzles - 2018 Another Super Great Bear Run

Hundreds of runners from from 50 towns and as far away as Florida from age 1 - 86 gathered for the 28th Great Bear Run on Sunday, May 20, 2018

Christopher Klucznik of Needham won the 5K in 16:21. Shea Newman of Midfield led the women in 19:40. Octogenarians Phyllis Mays and Anthony Bellucci continued their regular appearances at the race.

Brendan Ashman of Needham won the 1 Mile Run in 5:41 with 13-year-old Maylin Carr of Needham tops for the gals in 6:25.

8-Year-Old Phenom Blake Carr of Needham broke the 16-year-old 400 meter record by almost 6 seconds in 1:12.7. Blake broke the record for 7-year-olds last year.

9-Year-Old Nate Sykora, also of Needham, tied a 15-year-old 400 meter record in 1:18.5.

Birthday girl Nancer Ballard of Medfield and Karen Ahern of West Roxbury ran the first 5K for their (exact) age in Great Bear Run history.
5K Run Records
44:11 Evelyn Scheufele, Newton (Girls - 5)
24:13 Amelia Sinnett, West Newton (Girls - 7)
21:52 Evelyne Schenk, Natick (Women - 50)
22:21 Mary McNulty, Medway (Women - 55)
30:11 Nancer Ballard, Medfield (Women 64)
39:18 Karen Ahern, West Roxbury (Women - 69)
57:57 Phyllis Mays, Needham (Women - 86)
38:03 Massimo Neretti, Needham (Boys - 5)
29:25 Gabriel Bearkats, Watertown (Boys - 6)
19:28 Matthew Berardi, Hingham (Boys - 12)
50:01 Anthony Cellucci, Needham (Men - 85)
400 Meter Run Records
1:12.7 Blake Carr, Needham (Boys - 8)
1:18.5 Nate Sykora, Needham (Boys - 9)
1 Mile Run Records
10:46 Sonja Jacobson, Needham (Girls - 4)
6:55 Amanda Pasko, Wellesley (Women - 22)
12:42 Elita Pastra-Landis, Norton (Women - 70)
8:53 Tom Abbott, Natick (Men - 74)
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Great Weather Opens Up for 2017 Great Bear Run

Over 1000 runners and walkers from 66 towns from age 8 months old to 92 years young gathered for the 2017 Great Bear Run.

Dan Vassalo of Peabody repeated his 2016 win in the 5K in 15:24 while Katrina Vassal won for the women in 19:07.

11-year-old Zander Laidlaw of Needham won the 1 Mile in 5:57 with Emily McCann of Needham tops for the women in 6:40

92-year-old Sylvia Feiner of Scarsdale NY finished her first Great Bear Run 5K in 1:45.01!

Karen Lein took time to runner 24th Great Bear Run before her wedding shower later that day. She holds 11 race records. Results More Photos
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High Summer Temperatures Greet 2015 Great Bear Run !!!

Runners turned out in strength for our 25th Great Bear Run with runners from 73 towns as far away as Switzerland and from 11 months old to 83 years young in age.

37-year-old Michael Chettle of Easton captured the 5K in 17:21. Julie Hannon of Needham was tops for the gals in 20:02. 14-year-old Zane Reservitz of Easton (19:47) and 13-year-old Bailey Cohen of Natick (22:03) torched the road for the kids.

Abdi Ibraham of Boston won the 1 Mile in 4:57 to complement his 2nd overall in the 5K. Whiz kid 12-year-old James Donahue of Reading claimed 2nd in 5:21 (breaking the 23-year-old record of 5:31 for 12-year-old boys). 9-year-old Mia Barrus of Cranston RI (6:34) won for the girls

Hundreds of youths from the Needham Track Club ran. Results More Photos
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5K Record Falls at Sunny 2014 Great Bear Run !!!

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Results and Many More Photos

Runners turned out in strength for our 24th Great Bear Run with runners from 73 towns as far away as North Carolina and from 10 months old to 82 years young in age.

20-year old Amos Sang of Springfield clocked 14:45 to soundly break the course record to win the 5K. Jessica Rice of Needham was tops for the gals in 18:00, recording the 3rd best time in GBR history. 15-year-old Kevin Quinn of Needham (19:39) and 10-year-old Carmel Fitzgibbon of Weston (21:41) torched the road for the kids.

17-year-old Justin Skelly of Needham won the 1 Mile Run in 5:37. 11-year-old Morgan Nault of Manchester won for the girls in 6:17.

Two youth teams came out in strength -- the Needham Track Club and the Haverhill Elites.

Photos by Jack Prior of NewtonSportsPhotography.com
Other Photos on website by Cynthia Hrones
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2013 Great Bear Run Draws 1400 in Great Weather !

Results and Many More Photos

Runners turned out in strength for our 23rd Great Bear Run with runners from 87 towns as far away as Las Vegas and from 6 months old to 81 years young in age.

46-year old Peter Hammer of Needham clocked 16:18.7 to win the 5K. Jessica Rice of Needham was tops for the gals in 18:09.7, recording the 3rd best time in GBR history. 11-year-old Jeremy Darisse of Haverhill (20:13.0) and 12-year-old Jasmine Tiamfook of Wellesley (21:52.4) torched the road for the kids.

Alex Eid of Needham captured the 1 mile run in 5:31.9 with local 16-year-old Justin Skelly in hot pursuit at 5:35.5. 11-year-old Cecelia Burke of Haverhill won for the girls (6:29.9). Peter Crapsey of Haverhill was a triple youth age group winner in the 5K, 1M, and 400.

Two youth teams came out in strength -- the Striders Running Club from Natick and the Haverhill Elites.

Photos by Jack Prior of NewtonSportsPhotography.com and Photos by Arturo Gossage
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Results and Many More Photos

2012 Great Bear Run Draws 1000

Runners increased by 20% for our annual Great Bear Run with runners from 83 communities around New England and from 2 months old to 84 years young in age.

In the 5K, 20-year old Mike Jones of Cambridge clocked 15:43 among a star-studded field that include 5 former winners of the race. Diana Bowser of Needham was tops for the gals in 19:48. 14-year-old MIchael Toolin of North Kingston RI (19:00) and 10-year-old brother, Sam (19:32 - GBR record) torched the road for the kids.

David Cahill of Dorchester captured the 1 mile run in 5:11 with local 14-year-old phenom John Benner in hot pursuit at 5:19. Jessica Klett of Brookline won for the women in a near record time of 5:31.

Photos by Jack Prior of NewtonSportsPhotography.com and Photos by Arturo Gossage
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Results Photos

Crowds Brave Rain at 2011 Great Bear Run

The strongest turnout in years braved rain to participate in our annual Great Bear Run with runners from as far away as Sweden and from 11 months to 79 years in age.

Matt Carter of Saugus clocked 15:48 as he repeated last year's men's 5K win - his 2-year-old son, Charlie, ran in his 1st Bearathon.
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Dorothy ZIrkle of Brighton captured the women's 5K in 18:42.

Charles Beard repeated multiple men's wins in the 1 Mile Run with 5:27. 13-year-old Valerie Collins of Wellesley scored a women's win in 6:41. Boys winning Bob Ayoub trophies included Sam Thomas, Michael Caron, Jonah Berg, David Muir, Anton Ciccarelli, Peter Crapsey, Jack Cronin, and Jonah Renz. Girls capturing Bob Ayoub trophies were Valerie Collins, Emelyn Chaing, Lexie vonderLuft, Katie Cronin, Lily Segal, Carmel Fitzgibbon, and Anna Barrett.

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Our next generation of fast runners (age 0-3) took to the rear of Pollard School to complete the 26.2 meter course much to the cheers of the accompanying crowds.

Our up and coming 4-14 year olds showed their grit in running in downpouring rain to complete 100 meter, 200 meter, and 400 meter races.

Completing the day were the passionate 3K Prostate Cancer walkers, ever resilient in the rain, marching for our day's cause -- Prostate Cancer awareness and research.