“I need to get a good race pace workout in, who wants to join me?,” the post on Facebook reads.
“How about the Seacoast Half course?,” someone replies in the comments.
“Perfect! I’ll meet you there!”
The Seacoast Half Marathon might be scheduled for the second Sunday in November, but throughout the year you’ll find local runners meeting-up to run portions of the course. The fast, flat route is the perfect place to get in a workout or an easy run and you’d be hard pressed to find a runner in the Seacoast who hasn’t run those roads. With ocean views and historic landmarks along the route, it’s hard not to enjoy each mile. But the course isn’t just ingrained in the local running culture as a great place to run, the race itself has become an integral part of the community.
Each year, 100% of the net proceeds from the Seacoast Half Marathon are given directly to a Seacoast-area non-profit that is carefully chosen out of many applicants. In addition to donating its proceeds, the Seacoast Half Marathon staffs each water stops with additional non-profit organizations, enabling groups to earn $500 for their work along the course.
Last year, I participated in the race for the first time and despite running those roads countless times I realized why the race is a favorite among so many of my friends. Making a difference in the community is at the heart of the race itself and that intention creates an atmosphere that is unlike any other race: when you’re doing something from the heart it shows. Every sign-waving and cup-holding volunteer seemed to know that they weren’t just supporting the runners on the course, but they were supporting the community as well. It inspires everyone who lives in the area too as they come to the end of their driveways to cheer on the runners.
There’s so much that goes into pulling off a seamless race day and when it is all FOR something other than yourself it gives each task a little more meaning, which is probably why the Seacoast Half Marathon pulls off a great event each year. It’s no wonder the race sells out!
This year the race’s beneficiary is The Birchtree Center, a nonprofit which provides programming and instruction for students with autism. Over 30 school districts in New England rely on Birchtree’s resources. For an organization like The Birchtree Center, a donation from the Seacoast Half Marathon can go a long way in helping educators, families and students.
This year I’ll be toeing the line on November 11th again to run with friends and run FOR the community. I’m looking forward to high-fives and cheers along the course, knowing that that everyone out there is making a difference.
Want to join me? Registration fills up fast. You can find registration details HERE.
-Sarah Canney (aka @runfargirl)