Boston University Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore has pledged to pay for any BU student looking to participate in the 10th annual Brian Honan 5K race onSept. 22 to commemorate the Allston native’s legacy.
To encourage BU students to support a good cause and in an attempt to win the “Beanpot of 5Ks” competition between Harvard University, Boston College, Northeastern University and BU, Terriers can participate using Elmore’s donated funds.
Honan dedicated his life to improving his neighborhood and beyond, according to the 5K charity’s website. He went on to become the Mass. Assistant District Attorney.
“He [Honan] was just a local guy, who grew up in the neighborhood and he was just a terrific guy who passed away far too early,” said Assistant Dean of Students John Battaglino. “So, they started this race in his name, and what it turned into is a place where the community can come together … and really celebrate Allston.”
The run, which starts at 161 Brighton Ave. in Allston near Tavern in the Square on Sept. 22, lasts just over three miles and passes through Union Square toward Brighton Center. Water and timing stations are scattered along the route, manned by Honan 5K volunteers.
Honan was elected to represent Allston and Brighton as part of the Boston City Council, where he worked on the Neighborhood Housing Trust and as Committee on University and Community Relations chairman, according to the website. While spearheading these initiatives, Honan realized his true calling in life — to help develop affordable housing in his community. Funds raised by the 5K will aid local and national programs supporting housing, healthcare, education and recreation, as well as directly supporting scholarship funds in both Allston and Brighton, according to the 5K’s official Facebook page.
Kevin Honan, Brian Honan’s brother, said the race generates $3,000 each year for both the Allston Board of Trade scholarship and the Brighton Board of Trade scholarship. After this year’s race, he said the 5K will have generated $60,000 total for the two charities.BU students can sign up for free by tweeting at Battaglino or sending him an email.
Battaglino said the run, in addition to raising money, functions as a way to bring the BU and the Allston communities together.
“This will go a long way to build some solid relationships with students and their neighbors,” he said. “That’s why I hope we participate in force, and whether or not we run, or whether or not we just go down there and celebrate a bit, I think that would be terrific.”
Each year, the BU Running Club, select student athletes, members of BU’s marathon training class and members of BU Greek life participate in the 5K, Battaglino said, a positive trend he hopes to see continue in the coming years.
Michael Palmiere, a College of Engineering senior, said this will be his second time running the 5K.
“Students like to participate because it’s part of their city, and a lot of people live in Allston,” he said. “Normally it is kind of difficult to run on the sidewalks, so whenever they shut down all of the traffic, it’s pretty cool to be able to run on the street.”
Daniel Traub, a Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences junior and member of the BU Running Club who will participate on Sept. 22, said running for charity is deeply symbolic for him.
“It shows your support for a particular cause in a way that words can not,” he said. “You can really put your whole heart, body and soul and into a run and really physically show your support for something.”
Kelsey Durand, a Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences senior, said she initially agreed to run the 5K because it is free for BU students but has found she agrees with the causes it will raise money for.
“I didn’t really know what it was about, but I have been reading about it and it is actually for a really good cause, and this guy did a lot for Boston,” Durand said. “His values are kind of similar to mine. He did a lot for the community, but he was very involved during his academic career and at work, so that kind of reflects my values too.”
She said she is looking forward to running on Sept. 22.
“I hope I get my best 5K time,” Durand said. “… I hope a lot of people decide to run it because that makes it a lot more fun.”
Trisha Thadani contributed to the reporting of this article.