HAMLET – The 35th annual Seaboard Festival is fast approaching, and with it comes the 33rd annual Seaboard Festival 5k.
The festival and 5k take place in downtown Hamlet the last Saturday in October. The Seaboard 5k has been a Mangum Track Club (MTC) event for the past 28 years. The collaboration with MTC began in 1990 when Mark Long was the director of the Seaboard 5k. Long was director from 1990 until 2014. The Seaboard 5k is one of the oldest 5k races in North Carolina.
“My goal is to build up the race into a top notch 5k for the community and the state,” said Duke Smith, who became race director in 2015. “The more people and money the race brings in, the more we are able to assist our community.”
The money from the race helps in the local community, including a $1000 5k scholarship to a Richmond Community College student. The 5k also gives donations to nonprofits throughout Hamlet that help to make the Seaboard 5k possible.
Smith also stated that the race wouldn’t be possible without the help of its many sponsors. This year the race has over 15 sponsors. The presenting sponsor this year is FirstHealth of the Carolinas and FirstHealth Fitness Richmond. Smith said that it is because of these sponsorships that he has seen such amazing growth in the 5k since 2015.
In Smith’s first year, he saw the registration jump from 100 participants to 200. And this year, he has already seen a 50 percent increase from that. Many of this year’s participants are out-of-towners, some even from out of state, which helps to show the growth that the 5k has made in the last few years.
The 5k starts at 8 a.m., on Saturday, October 28 at Calvary Baptist Church on McDonald Avenue in Hamlet. The course goes for 3.1 miles around the streets of Hamlet. All levels of runners and walkers are invited to participate. Unlike many 5k runs, with the Seaboard 5k not only do runners and walkers receive a t-shirt, but all finishing racers will receive a finisher’s medal.
Registration for the 5k can be found on the 5k tab on the Seaboard Festival website www.seaboardfestival.com. The cost to register for the 5k is $25 until midnight on October 16, with late registration running to $35.