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Yorktown’s Victory Family YMCA is preparing for its second Victory at Yorktown 10K Run/Walk & 1 Mile Family Fun Run/Walk, which will be held at the waterfront on April 16.
Last year’s race attracted more than 120 runners for the 10K and 62 families participating in the fun run, netting a total of $5,000 for the YMCA.
The race will follow the same course this year, spanning a historical and scenic path that begins at the waterfront and then passes by or through Cornwallis Cave, the Yorktown Victory Monument, Yorktown Battlefield and Surrender Field before turning down Surrender Road and looping back to the waterfront.
“Yorktown’s waterfront is not only a beautiful but also a historic area, and we’re hoping to draw people not just from Yorktown but the surrounding areas to come enjoy it,” said Michael Bennett, the race’s co-director and the YMCA’s branch executive.
Bennett believes this race is unique not only because of the stunning vistas it offers but also because of its status as a growing community event.
More than 30 businesses, many of which are located along the waterfront, are sponsoring this year’s race, and Bennett is hopeful that in future years the event will continue to expand in its scope.
“Our goal is we want it to grow into a community event. We want people to come and be a part of the race and then spend time in the community,” Bennett said. “We’re starting small and doing it right in the hopes that it will get bigger every year.”
Local businesses are playing a role in this year’s race by offering up prizes and incentives to the participants. Kids who participate in the Fun Run will get a coupon for a free ice cream scoop from Ben & Jerry’s, and the top adult runners will take home prizes or gift certificates from Yorktown boutiques and area attractions.
In order to attract families to the event, the YMCA has timed the race to coincide with Healthy Kids Day, a national YMCA initiative that promotes nutrition and physical activity as part of the organization’s youth development mission.
During and immediately following the races, families can enjoy free Healthy Kids Day activities like inflatables, obstacle courses, games, music, healthy refreshments and access to information about nutrition and fitness.
“We really wanted this to be a family event,” Bennett said. “We want to promote physical activity, youth development and social responsibility and we wanted to offer something for everyone from serious runners to recreational runners to walkers and families.”
As for the fundraising aspect of the event, race planners have set a goal of $10,000 for this year, all of which will go to benefit the people the YMCA serves.
The Victory Family YMCA distributes more than $400,000 of financial assistance to members every year, allowing seniors on a limited income, single parents and people who have otherwise fallen on hard times to use the facilities at a free or reduced cost.
“Only 55 percent of our members pay the full rate,” Bennett said. “If you walk in and see 100 people on a treadmill or using the equipment, 45 of them could be people who are going through some sort of hardship and you’d never know it.”
Ultimately, Bennett and other race planners hope the race will raise awareness of and money for the services it provides to its 14,000 members while also providing families with an enjoyable morning and a unique opportunity to take in what Yorktown has to offer.
“It’s going to be a fun event,” Bennett said. “Everything about it is volunteer-driven and for the community.”
The Fun Run kicks off at 8 a.m. April 16, followed by the 10K at 8:30 a.m.
Registration for 10K and Fun Run are $35 and $10, respectively, through 9 p.m. April 2. T-shirts are guaranteed to those who register by that deadline, or Fun Run participants can opt not to receive a T-shirt for a reduced registration fee of $10.
After April 2 and through the day of the race, registration is $40 for the 10K and $10 for the Fun Run. Race packet pick-up is from noon to 6 p.m. April 15 at the Victory Family YMCA.
Click here to register online or submit an application by mail or in person to the Victory Family YMCA. This event is rain or shine.