By Karen Dandurant
Original Article HERE
EXETER — For everyone who loves road races, and love even more races that support great causes, details were released on Friday for all 10 races that are a part of Exeter Hospital’s United in Wellness Road Race Series.
Started in 2016, the series includes 10 races, each committed to supporting local community organizations in the Seacoast region. The combined effort highlights the great organizations while also promoting health and wellness for everyone.
Runners are invited to register for one or all of the races, which begin on April 9 and continue through November. Most are 5Ks, but there is also a 10K, and many of the races include fun runs and family walks, meeting all levels of participation.
Combining the races under one umbrella allows each group to promote the others, and hopefully the result is a bigger gain for each non-profit through increased race day participation.
“In some cases, Exeter Hospital has been long-time sponsors of these races,” said Mark Whitney, Vice President of Strategy and Development for Exeter Hospital. “So to bring them together like this allows a longer promotional period for each race and it just makes sense. This is really about the partnerships we have with these groups, with their causes and our mission to promote healthy communities. It’s about families doing this together and the good that will come from it.”
hitney said he loves the idea of the collaboration because it draws attention to 10 very worthy causes.
Seacoast United Sports Club is the series sponsor. Whitney said the organization is one of Exeter Hospital’s longest standing partnerships.
“If you were new to the area and heard about Connor’s Climb, it might mean nothing to you,” said Paul Willis of SUSC. “The same goes for Northeast Passage or the Beyond the Rainbow fund. Getting involved with any of these races is a chance to learn about all of the organizations.”
Willis said people run for many reasons, including to lose weight, or to get into shape. He said running for a reason like physical wellness is made better by knowing organizations that support great causes like suicide prevention, helping families deal with cancer, YMCA events or community health partnerships make the experience even more meaningful.
“We run a race because it makes us feel better,” said Willis. “We run and want to win. But we also make friends and these races highlight wellness so they are way more than a 5K. I applaud Exeter Hospital for bringing this together and I am thrilled to be a part of it.”
To Steve Hardy, supporting the Bobcat Bolt 5K and Kids Fun Run, there is poignant meaning. The organization supports a scholarship awards at Oyster River for his two sons, Josh and Nathan Hardy. Josh died of a brain tumor and Nathan was killed in service as part of Seal Team 6.
Each of the organizations supported by the races have amazing stories to tell. Interested people can visit their associated race websites to learn more and choose the races they would like to support. The races are as follows:
Sunday, April 9: Beyond the Rainbow 5K, www.greatbayhalf.com. Benefits patients undergoing treatment at Exeter Hospital’s Center for Cancer Care.
Saturday, May 6: Connor’s Climb 5K and Family Walk, www.connorsclimb.org. Benefits suicide education and prevention.
Saturday, June 30: Rye By the Sea 5K and Duathlon, www.anniesangels.net. Benefits Annie’s Angels.
Saturday, June 17: Bobcat Bolt 5K & Fun Run, www.bobcatbolt.com. Benefits Oyster River student awards in memory of Josh and Nathan Hardy.
Saturday, July 15: Willow’s Run 5K, www.willowsrun.wordpress.com. Benefits suicide awareness and prevention.
Saturday, Aug. 12: Lamprey Healthcare Annual 5K, www.lampreyhealth.org. Benefits programs dedicated to the healthy development of pediatric patients.
Saturday, Aug. 26: Seacoast United’s Crossbar Challenge 5K, www.seacoastunitedfoundation.org. Benefits the Seacoast United Foundation.
Saturday, Oct. 21: Seacoast United Sports Club 5K & Fun Run, www.seacoastunitedfoundation.org. Benefits the Seacoast United Foundation.
Sunday, Oct. 29: Trick or Treat Trot 5K & Creepy Crawler Fun Run, www.unitedinwellness.org. Benefits cancer patients through the Beyond the Rainbow fund at Exeter Hospital.
Thursday, Nov. 23: Exeter Run Club/Exeter Area YMCA “Thanks for Giving” 5K and 10K, www.sdymcaorg. Benefits the Southern District’s YMCA’S Youth Programs and the Southeastern Land Trust.
Registration in the series will earn participants a special recognition gift. Brave souls who run five or more of the races will earn a second, bigger recognition.
Registration can be done online at www.unitedinwellness.org, or by calling (603) 580-6668.Tags: Bobcat Bolt 2017, Exeter Wellness Series