Spring 5K Run
Not only a revenue stream for two non-profits, the event will also "bring additional visitors to Ocracoke on a shoulder season weekend," said WOVV board chair Greg Honeycutt, who heads the 5K organizing committee. They anticipate it becoming an annual event.
The last Saturday in April, when the annual race will be held, is also the date of the Portsmouth Island Homecoming which happens every other year. The committee discussed the date with island business owners, who said a May event was too late. They consulted a racing organization to see how to best fit into races scheduled in nearby areas, and considered other conflicts, like the Ocracoke Island Surf Fishing Tournament, held the following weekend. Fall was ruled out because of hurricanes.
The committee is halfway to their goal of raising ten to twelve thousand dollars, to be equally split between the two non-profits. "We are trying to approach businesses that operate on Ocracoke but are based off the island," said Greg of soliciting corporate sponsors.
OCBA supports the event at the platinum level, for $1500, and Greg hopes some Occupancy tax funds will be forthcoming in future years.
Sponsorships will account for most of the funds raised; entry fees will cover expenses. They will be able to accomodate up to 300 runners.
The course is US ATF certified, which is important to serious runners, Greg said.
A professional company from Greenville will be responsible for timing the race. The route will pass the lighthouse and wind through the historic village.
Susie Kennedy joined the committee and is taking charge of the family fun run, which will likely be on South Point road. "Susie is planning all sorts of cool little things," said Greg.
The WOVV board (on which I serve) wanted to add a fundraising event that both emphasized health and was family friendly, said Greg. Two 5Ks held in the mid 2000s had been successful, and avid runner Marissa Gross proposed reviving the race.
Races require a lot of volunteer support and the board wanted to collaborate with another group. Greg had developed a good working relationship with David Scott Esham when the two raised funds to add features to Ocracoke School's new gym that the county couldn't afford to pay for.
As a newly formed organization, the Booster Club wants and needs to raise funds, said Greg, and "they jumped on the bandwagon."
David Scott and Greg invited others to join the 5K committee. Calvin Hanrahan brings his experience organizing the earlier Ocracoke 5Ks. Kitty Mitchell and Charles Temple lead the cross country teams at Ocracoke School. Charles also is on WOVV's board, as is Jim Borland. Kari Styron serves on the board of the Booster Club. Susie was a board member and volunteer with the Ocracoke Youth Center.