The Seacoast Half Marathon, one of coastal New Hampshire’s longest-running half marathons, has announced that the race will be going virtual in 2020. The Seacoast Half Marathon Race Committee, comprised of twelve local volunteer members, made the decision to shift their annual November race to a virtual event due to continued public health concerns related to COVID-19. Hosting a virtual race will enable the committee to continue their philanthropic tradition of supporting a local nonprofit beneficiary, as well as keeping the beloved autumn race tradition intact. Each year, 100% of the net proceeds are donated to a mindfully selected seacoast nonprofit organization.
This year’s beneficiary is Cornerstone VNA, an independent nonprofit organization providing home care, hospice care, palliative care, private duty services, and community health and wellness programs. As a local health care provider, Cornerstone VNA has been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, caring for patients of all ages, from birth through end-of-life. “It is truly an honor to be the nonprofit beneficiary of the 2020 Seacoast Half Marathon,” states Erika Lee, Advancement Director at Cornerstone VNA. Lee adds, “Although we would all prefer to have an in-person race, we know that a virtual race is the best decision, and the Race Committee has developed some great ideas to make this year’s event a memorable one.”
To add excitement to this year’s event, the Race Committee is offering several distance options for the Seacoast Half Marathon’s ‘Virtual Edition’. Runners and walkers can choose between a 5K (3.1 miles), a quarter marathon (6.55 miles), or a half marathon (13.1 miles). As an added benefit, participants can compete their distance between Saturday, October 31st and Sunday, November 8th. The registration fees range from $15 to $40, giving runners and walkers the flexibility to select their preferred distance, and event swag offerings. To further support Cornerstone VNA, individuals can add a donation of any amount to their registration fee. There is also an option for registrants to set up their own fundraising page to encourage additional donations from family and friends.
According to Jay Diener, Seacoast Half Marathon Race Director, “One of the things the Seacoast Half Marathon Race Committee is proudest of is that we donate all of our revenue (after expenses) each year to local nonprofit organizations. In the 14 years we have held the race, we have donated over $1,350,000. Under any circumstances, Cornerstone VNA would have been a great choice for our beneficiary this year. But, with all of the issues related to the coronavirus, it is even more important to highlight and support the critical work that they do.” Julie Reynolds, RN, MS, President/CEO at Cornerstone VNA adds, “We have been given an amazing opportunity with this race. It lets us highlight to participants the important work that we do daily caring for the vulnerable in our community. The generous proceeds will enable us to continue to provide care to them, regardless of their ability to pay, and will help us grow and strengthen our programs and services.”
To register, visit www.seacoasthalfmarathon.com. The website is also a great place to learn more about the virtual race and how participation, either as a sponsor or as a runner/walker, helps Cornerstone VNA.