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  • The Great Bay Stewards launches registration for Great Bay 5K | Race for a Healthy Estuary and Great Bay 55K Challenge.

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    Great Bay Stewards Launches Registration for Great Bay 5K | Race for a Healthy Estuary and Great Bay 55K Challenge

    New this year: Partnership with Victoria’s Victory Foundation

    GREENLAND—The non-profit Great Bay Stewards is pleased to announce that registration is underway for the Great Bay 5K | Race for a Healthy Estuary and the Great Bay 55K Challenge.

    The Stewards plan to hold the Great Bay 5K in person on Oct. 30, 2021, with a virtual option. This will also be the second year of the Great Bay 55K Challenge, where the 55 kilometers represent a suggested route that circumnavigates the entire estuary, traveling from the Discovery Center in Greenland, through Newmarket, Newfields, Durham, Portsmouth, Newington, and returning to the boat launch at the Center.

    “We were thrilled that so many people completed the 55K Challenge in 2020,” says Race Director Bob Kennedy. “Despite the pandemic, we had nearly 400 participants in the two races, and saw many runners along the course on the actual day the race would have been held. Participants in the 55K Challenge also sent us photos along their routes and competed to see who could log the most mileage.” As in 2020, the Great Bay 55K is a virtual event held between October 1 and 30. Participants can choose to complete the entire distance any way they prefer, from a one-day circuit to a little each day on a treadmill. New this year, the Stewards will be pairing with Victoria’s Victory Foundation to encourage wheelchair racers to participate in the Great Bay 5K.

    “We are thrilled that the Great Bay Stewards recognizes the importance of inclusivity and access for all and look forward to creating a VVF team to celebrate all abilities and bring adaptive athletes to this event,” says Victoria Arlen, VVF Founder, ESPN host and Paralympic gold and silver medal swimmer. "It is an incredible blessing to have the opportunity to get out and move regardless of the obstacles that might stand in your way. To have the chance to celebrate movement for a great cause is tremendous. Movement is where the miracles happen."

    The Great Bay 5K is also the first race to be endorsed by the New England 65 Plus Runners Club, a 750- plus member club that promotes active lifestyles for seniors. The endorsement recognizes the event for offering five-year age groups through 100+, age-graded time awards, and a registration discount for seniors. In addition to terrific food at the end of the race, complimentary beer, cider and oysters will be available for participants who visit supporting breweries and restaurants the weekend of the Great Bay 5K.

    The race, a part of the Seacoast Road Race Series, also features a cash prize for the fastest first mile; kids’ fun run at the finish; a costume contest; a team competition; a long-sleeve, high-tech race t-shirt; as well as a commemorative hat for 55K participants. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three male and female runners, race walkers, and wheelchair racers. An additional $1000 prize is offered to the race winner (male/female) if they beat the existing "All Comers" New Hampshire state record times for a 5K (male: 13:53 and female 15:28) at the in-person Great Bay 5K.

    Prizes will also be given to the first male and female contestant to finish the 55K course, as well as the male and female who complete the longest distance over the course of the race period. Registration for the in-person 5K is open online at www.greatbay5k.org through Oct. 27; registration for the virtual Great Bay 5K and Great Bay 55K Challenge is open through Oct. 30.

    In-person registration will be available at packet pickup on Friday, Oct. 29, from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. at the Hugh Gregg Coastal Conservation Center at the Great Bay Discovery Center, Greenland, and on Saturday, October 30, 2021 at Stratham Hill Park prior to the start of the race. The Great Bay 5K is the largest fundraiser for the Stewards, an area non-profit celebrating 25 years in 2021. Since its inception 23 years ago, the race has brought in more than $300,000. Funds raised through the events go toward improving and updating exhibits in the Discovery Center, bringing students from socioeconomically challenged schools on field trips, supporting the Center’s osprey camera, and research into threatened as well as invasive species around the estuary. About the Great Bay Stewards The non-profit Great Bay Stewards plays 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 also work with area organizations to raise awareness of critical issues and promote estuarine conservation.

    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. About Victoria's Victory Foundation Victoria's Victory Foundation is a quality of life organization helping to fill the needs of those living with disabilities.

    From advocacy, awareness and support, VVF provides resources to those living with mobility challenges. Through the Victory Program, VVF is able to offer Victory Scholarships helping to provide recovery training sessions, home and vehicle modifications, in-home care hours, and custom mobility equipment. VVF is helping others achieve their own victory and lead more independent lives. To learn more about the foundation visit www.victoriasvictory.org.