Blog : Hit the Road to Support the Great Bay Stewards

By Katelyn | Oct 19, 2015 | in

Its not too late to register for the Great Bay 5k this Saturday, October 24 to benefit the Great Bay Stewards. Runners start at Sandy Point Road in Stratham, continuing along Rt. 33, through quiet neighborhoods before finishing at the Great Bay Discovery Center on Depot Road in Greenland.

A rolling sixteen years of success and popularity for this annual fundraiser can be attributed to the great cause the proceeds serve, but also to the fantastic course and wide spectrum of runners.

Aside from its natural scenic beauty, the topography of the course is predominantly downhill, giving competitive runners an opportunity to race a new personal best time. There are also lucrative cash awards for the top three-female and male finishers, as well as an added bonus for new course records, which draws in a variety of runners from around New England. Additionally, the MacKenzie Mile, named after local resident Jim MacKenzie, offers the first male and female runners to cross this one-mile mark within the 5k - and who complete the rest of the race at a similar pace - an additional monetary prize.

The course is point-to-point and a complimentary bag van at Stratham Hill Park will be available for runners to store clothing and personal items for when they complete the race, which will be brought to the Great Bay Discovery Center. Additionally, free shuttles from the finish area will return finishers to Jack Rabbit Lane near Stratham Hill Park. There is also a one-mile walking short cut down Depot Road back to the start, which could make an excellent cool down opportunity for runners.

In the spirit of Halloween, creative costumes are encouraged and equally incentivized with a cash prize for the best female and male festive racers. The same contest will take place among the kids fun run racers, with awards as well.

After the 5k and fun run, participants are invited to enjoy refreshments and a brief award ceremony at 10:15 a.m. at the Discovery Center. The organization will also announce the winners of its two ongoing raffle prizes for two hot air balloon ride tickets and two off road bicycles, and the Green Alliance will present an environmental gift basket to one lucky winner.

The Great Bay 5K Road Race is a primary fundraiser for the Great Bay Stewards, with proceeds supporting the non-profit’s educational and stewardship programs as well as facility improvement projects. Along with sponsoring erosion control efforts, invasive species removal, and runoff prevention campaigns, the non-profit also funds the Great Bay Discovery Center, an educational hub of the Research Reserve.

The Discovery Center offers visitors a chance to learn more about ecology and marine biology issues involving the Great Bay. The Stewards help manage over 6,000 acres of protected land. Only one acre is developed, which houses the Great Bay Discovery Center, with the other 5,999 acres providing prime estuary habitat, recreation space and undisturbed wetland area.

Preregistration and bib pick-up will be available at the Great Bay Discovery Center on Thursday, Oct. 22 and Friday, Oct. 23 from noon to 6 p.m. Registration will also be available at Stratham Hill Park (Rt. 33) on race day from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m.

Learn more about the Great Bay 5k and register for the race here.