Elite runners are set to square off in a pair of Boston races over Columbus Day weekend, with the Boston Athletic Association hosting its 19th annual Half Marathon at 8 a.m. Sunday at Franklin Park, and the Reebok Boston 10K for Women slated for a noon start Monday at Boston Common.
Here is information about each race:
BAA Half Marathon
■ The course begins and ends at White Stadium in Franklin Park, following Forest Hills Drive before passing the Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Pond, Willow Pond, and Olmsted Park along the Jamaicaway, then returning via the western side of the Emerald Necklace.
Roads along the course and adjacent and abutting roads will be closed from approximately 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
The event was created in 2001 to complement the Boston Marathon and be a more inclusive race. It also has become a major fund-raiser for cancer research via a partnership with the Dana-Farber Institute and the Jimmy Fund.
This field this year is 9,000; in 2018, 6,478 finishers completed the course.
The top men’s contenders include Wesley Korir of Kenya, Gabriel Geay of Tanzania, and Tim Ritchie, a Worcester native and the current cross-country coach at UMass Amherst. Ritchie, a former all-conference performer at Boston College and a two-time Olympic trials marathon qualifier, won the US championship at the California International Marathon in December 2017. He is one of the few entrants who has run a sub-four-minute mile and holds a US national marathon title.
The top women’s contenders include Brillian Kipkoech and Gladys Yator of Kenya, and Laura Paulsen, a Brookline resident who finished 58th in the 2017 Boston Marathon.
■ Acton-Boxboro graduate Katrina Gerhard is one of the favorites in the wheelchair division. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Gerhard is attending medical school in Boston while also racing professionally. She finished sixth in the 2018 Boston Marathon and won the 2018 BAA 10K last June.
There will be $55,800 in prize money distributed to the top 10 runners overall, the top three in the masters division, and the top three in the wheelchair division.
Reebok Boston 10K for Women
The course runs from Beacon Street near Boston Common to the Massachusetts Avenue bridge, where it crosses the Charles River, loops around Memorial Drive, and returns to the Common via the bridge and a stretch of Commonwealth Avenue.
Activities begin at 9 a.m. and continue at 10:30 a.m. with The Play Brigade Inclusive Kids’ Races before the official race begins at noon.
Founded in 1977 as the Bonne Bell Mini Marathon, this is New England’s largest all-women’s sporting event and the second-oldest all-women’s race in the US. More than 175,000 women have raced in the event since its inception.
The elite field is headlined by four-time champion Molly Huddle of Providence, who set the course record (31:21) in 2015. Other favorites include Emily Infeld of Portland, Ore., and Iveen Chepkemoi of Kenya.
Runners raise funds for several groups, including the Dana-Farber Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers.
The runners are competing for $17,000 in prize money.
Nate Weitzer can be reached at email@example.com