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  • Great Bay Stewards Preparing for the 21st Annual Great Bay 5K |Race for a Healthy Estuary

    New this year: Team competition, new breweries, oysters, and more! 
    The Great Bay Stewards, a local non-profit dedicated to protecting and conserving the Great Bay estuary, is pleased to announce that registration is underway for the annual Great Bay 5K|Race for a Healthy Estuary, to be held October 26th, 2019. Now in its 21st year, the Great Bay 5K is a major fundraiser for the Great Bay Stewards, having brought in more than $200,000 since its launch. 

    The Great Bay 5K is a fun, fast, mostly downhill race that takes place along the shores of Great Bay in the Seacoast region of New Hampshire. The course begins at Stratham Hill Park in Stratham, N.H., and ends at the Great Bay Discovery Center in Greenland, N.H. Runners and walkers often come dressed in their Halloween costume and the race is home to many participants’ personal record.  

    New this year, the event includes a team competition with team prizes, free team photos, and customized team shirts. The race also offers prizes across five-year age divisions, a costume contest, great food, a free kids 'fun run' held after the race, and complimentary beer and oysters for participants who visit supporting breweries and restaurants the weekend of the race. There's also a $1000 cash prize for the male or female runner who is able to beat the existing “All Comers” New Hampshire state record times for a 5K.  The race also features the unique “MacKenzie Mile,” awarding $50 to the participant with the fastest first mile.  

    “The Great Bay 5K is both a terrific course and event and an important fundraiser for the Bay and the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve,” says Bob Kennedy, the race director. “With a great cause, a fast course, views of the estuary along the route, excellent food at the end of the race, and a fun team competition, we believe we are the premier 5K race in the area.”  

    The Great Bay 5K was designated as one of the Top 10 Favorite 5K races in New England in 2013 and is the final race in the successful Seacoast Road Race Series. All proceeds of the race go to the non-profit Great Bay Stewards, helping to fund goals such as exhibits at the Discovery Center, fieldtrips for socioeconomically challenged schools, and monitoring of threatened species around the estuary. Participants who register by September 30th are guaranteed to receive a long-sleeve, high-tech race shirt. Registration is $30 until October 1, after which it is $35. Children 15 and under are only $15 until October 1, after which they are $20.  

    The Great Bay Stewards is grateful this year for the sponsorship of Sprague Operating Resources, People’s United Bank, Oyster River Running Company, Northeast Delta Dental, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New England, Open Arms Racing Heart Foundation, Points East Magazine, the Rotary Club of Durham, and the Exeter Area New Car Dealers Association. Breweries participating in providing a beer for runners who visit the weekend of the race are Deciduous Brewing Company, Empty Pint Brewing Company, Liars Bench Beer Co., North Country Hard Cider, Tilton Brothers Brewing, and Tributary Brewing Co., with The Franklin offering a half dozen oysters to race participants who come in with their race bib the weekend of the race.  

    About the Great Bay Stewards 
    The Great Bay Stewards, a non-profit organization established in 1995, play an integral role in a variety of programs associated with the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Through fundraising events, private donations, and educational programs, the Stewards provide critical support to supplement state and federal funding received by the Reserve.  

    To fulfill its mission to protect Great Bay for future generations, the Stewards work with area organizations to raise awareness of critical issues and promote estuarine conservation. Our newest initiative – Become a Great Bay Tide Turner – is an education program working with local homeowners to reduce stormwater pollution from residential properties.  

    To learn more about supporting the Stewards and our work, please visit us at www.greatbaystewards.org

    About the Great Bay Discovery Center 
    In 1993, the Great Bay Discovery Center opened on the shores of Great Bay and serves as the education headquarters of the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, a state and Federal partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, who owns and manages the facility. Located in Greenland, the Center is a popular destination for thousands of annual visitors. Inside the Discovery Center there are interpretive exhibits about the Great Bay estuary, including interactive displays about salt marsh farming, salmon migration, plankton, tides, and research on the Bay. Outside there are interpretive trails, a boardwalk, a children’s play area, and other facilities. The boardwalk was rebuilt in 2016 – funded in part by the Great Bay Stewards.