The Swag Flag 5K

A fundraiser for Bedford Cross Country and Track & Field

swag flag being waved

Okay, so what is this?

It's a 5K race in Bedford, MA. It starts and finishes at the Bedford High School track and includes parts of the BHS Cross Country course over roads, grass and packed dirt trails.

swag flag at bedford tent

Sweet! What's the race for?

This is a race to raise money for the Track and XC programs at Bedford schools. It's also a chance for former runners and families of BHS runners to come together for a summer reunion.

Bedford Track team carrying swag flag

Great! How do I register?

You can register for the race at The cost is $25 ($30 after July 23). Online registration closes at 11:59pm Thursday Aug 3rd! If you wish to contribute to the Bedford track and cross-country programs but do not wish to enter the race, you may make a donation.

Event Information

Swag Flag being flown on top of a hill

Event Time

The race will start at 8:30am Aug 5, 2017 at the track at Bedford High School. The event will be held rain or shine.


Swagalicious™ shirts are guaranteed for all racers who sign up online at least 1 week before the day of the race. Register for the race at today!


You can register online up until 11:59pm Thursday Aug 3rd. Day-of-race registration will be accepted starting at 7:30am at Bedford HS track Saturday Aug 5th.

Number Pick-up

Your race number and shirt can be picked up the morning of the race at the Bedford High School track, beginning at 7:30am.

Course and Map

The course mainly follows Bedford High School's cross-country course. It begins and ends on the BHS track (map). The race goes on roads, the packed dirt bike path, and on the grassy fields of John Glenn Middle School. Running shoes or racing flats with blanks on them are recommended. Cross country spikes are not usable because of paved sections of the course. The course is incredibly flat and fast!

a map of the swag flag 5k courseNEW! A course map is now available for downloading!

Course Restrictions

While flat, the course covers a variety of terrain, including grassy fields and narrow packed dirt trails. It is not suitable for wheelchair athletes. Dogs and jog strollers are also not permitted on course, but are welcome at the start/finish area. Running on the narrow trails also requires that runners are aware of their surroundings. Racing with headphones is not recommended.

Swag Flag


The weather is expected to be warm. Water will be available at the start/finish area. A water station will be located on the course to provide water to the runners.


Awards will be given in eight categories: men 45 and over, women 45 and over, men 30-44, women 30-44, men 19-29, women 19-29, boys 18 and under, girls 18 and under. There will be a separate prize for first male and first female finisher.

Post Race Party

All racers are welcome to stay around after they finish for refreshments, sharing of stories, awards, and all around good times. Deejay Charles Alperin will play music to get you running your best.

2017 Results

The race results from our race in 2016 are now available. Please let us know if there are any errors.

“Racing is the fun part; it’s the reward of all the hard work.” - Kara Goucher

The Story of the Swag Flag

photo of coach Hebert

A New Attitude

As the Bedford Girls Cross Country program entered its fifth year under the direction of coach Joel Hebert, the team was continuing its upward progress. The team was expanding in numbers and the girls were running faster times. A can-do attitude had taken hold, embodied by the slogan "Work Hard. Be Positive." photo of Bedford Buccaneers bannerCoach Hebert sensed an opportunity to add to the team spirit and sought a talisman the team could rally around. A traditional banner had been used at meets, showing the blue, white and black colors of Bedford HS, but it didn't reflect the camaraderie shown by the team. Taking a cue from the Bedford HS team name, The Buccaneers, he thought the Jolly Roger flag of pirate lore would be a fitting symbol of the spirit and attitude shown by the hardy harriers.

photo of swag flag being waved

First Meet

first photo ever taken of the swag flagMaking its first appearance at the meet against Acton-Boxborough and Westford Academy, the pirate flag proved an immediate hit. Even under the gray skies and rain on that day, the Bedford runners took to the flag and rallied. It marked Bedford's presence and was waved to encourage the racers. The team joked about their confidence and swag, and the flag was quickly christened The Swag Flag™.

Team Symbol

Bedford runners rallying around swag flag Sarah holding swag flag and cheeringSince that initial meet, the Swag Flag has accompanied the Bedford XC and Track & Field teams to all their meets. It serves as the rallying flag before the meet begins, and is used to lead the cooldown lap after a meet. Win or lose, the team is proud to jog a lap behind the flag, signalling team unity and strength.

“The real purpose of running isn't to win a race, it's to test the limits of the human heart.” -Bill Bowerman