Where Can I Go For My Anniversary In Florida

SANTA ROSA BEACH — The co-founders and race directors, as well as the runners, were extra thankful for the 30A 10K this year.

It not only marked the Thanksgiving Day race’s 10th anniversary, but also its return to being in person. The 2020 race was hosted virtually because of the pandemic.

“It's hard to get as excited to go run around your neighborhood as it is an in-person event where you’ve got the music and the timing and the atmosphere and running on 30A yourself,” Amy Stoyles said. “But I think everyone just made the best of a difficult circumstance … I think that there's probably an extra sphere of gratitude and thanksgiving for the race this year, above and beyond that it's Thanksgiving, for that reason.”

The co-founders of the 30A 10K, Amy Stoyles (left), Craig Baranowski and Karen Meadows, pose with Lucky, the race's turkey mascot, at the 2016 race. They were happy to resume the in-person race this year after having a virtual event in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The co-founders of the 30A 10K, Amy Stoyles (left), Craig Baranowski and Karen Meadows, pose with Lucky, the race's turkey mascot, at the 2016 race. They were happy to resume the in-person race this year after having a virtual event in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

From 2019:Thousands race to the turkey at the 30A 10k

More ways to give back: Okaloosa, Walton first responders collecting gifts for kids in need. Here's how to help.

The 30A 10K had raised $450,000 to-date for local charities prior to 2021. Thousands of runners participated in the 1-mile fun run, 5K and 10K Thursday morning, starting in Rosemary Beach with a goal to reach $500,000.

The charity partners for the 2021 race included The Point Washington Medical Clinic, the Walton County Education Foundation, Northwest Florida Guardian ad Litem and the Seaside School Foundation.

While the event was held in person, Stoyles said they still took pandemic precautions. They took the lead from the Boston Marathon.

“They asked that their volunteers had masks and they had some extra precautions there, but during the race you could go ahead and run without one,” she said. “We've tended to look toward their guidance as to how to run ours.”

Another worthy cause: Ring in the season: Salvation Army kicking off Red Kettle, Empty Stocking drives Saturday

But the biggest change this year had little to do with COVID-19; it was a decision made for the environment. That has been a focus of the event’s mission from the beginning.

“In the past we've had recycling efforts. We have sourced our T-shirts from environmentally sustainable sources. We had utilized local restaurants and local sources as much as possible for all of our items,” Stoyles said. “But we always had to have all these single-use plastic water bottles. We have close to 3,000 runners, spectators and volunteers, so you're talking almost 4,000 plastic water bottles. And we have felt awful about that.”

30A 10K co-founder Amy Stoyles poses for a photo with her daughter London in 2018. This year's Thanksgiving Day race returned as an in-person event this year after being held virtually in 2020.
30A 10K co-founder Amy Stoyles poses for a photo with her daughter London in 2018. This year's Thanksgiving Day race returned as an in-person event this year after being held virtually in 2020.

This year they opted to trade medals at the finish line for 23-ounce, thermal insulated commemorative water bottles.

“Everyone who crosses the finish line gets that,” Stoyles said. “These aren't sold in stores; you'll never get them again … That was a neat twist.”

“I think we all recognize that the reason we love running and vacationing here on 30A so much is because of the natural, environmental beauty of the area,” co-founder Karen Meadows said in a press release. “Celebrating that and protecting it for future generations is so very important.”

Co-founders and race directors, Stoyles, Meadows and Craig Baranowski don’t run in the race. They sometimes run the path together after the race in the same way Dave McGillivray, the director of the Boston Marathon, runs after the Boston Marathon.

30A 10K co-founder Amy Stoyles poses for a photo with her daughter London in 2014. London is now old enough to run in the Thanksgiving Day 5K.
30A 10K co-founder Amy Stoyles poses for a photo with her daughter London in 2014. London is now old enough to run in the Thanksgiving Day 5K.

The race is about more than running to Stoyles.

“I look at it this way: As a mother, I always wanted to teach my kids that the spirit of Thanksgiving is about more than just being thankful for what we have, and about looking at our community at large and how we can give back and share a bit of ourselves and bring our kids to Thanksgiving to a larger community,” Stoyles said. “Doing this race and having my kids out there seeing them or having them see me donate my time, my energy and raise money for some very deserving local charities has been very special to me.”

Her children — London, 9, and Brighton, 3 — are the main reason Stoyles thinks being a race director is so important. London is old enough now to run the 5K.

“I hope that that they’ve learned from that and it's one thing to talk to talk, but it's another to walk the walk, and I try to embody that a little bit,” Stoyles said. “I think all of our runners tend to do that. I think we have a lot of participants who come out, and it's not just, ‘Hey, I want to get some exercise and enjoy the day and I like nice events.’ I think a lot of them come out because they know they're supporting some really deserving local charities. And it's about giving back. It's about being thankful and being grateful for what we've got this year and being able to share that and support.”

This article originally appeared on Northwest Florida Daily News: Thanksgiving race: 30A 10K to celebrate 10th anniversary

Source : https://news.yahoo.com/30a-10k-thankful-celebrate-10th-120056953.html

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