New Balance Reach the Beach Relay Celebrates 15 Years Running
The New Balance Reach the Beach Relay (RTB) will celebrate its 15th anniversary on Friday and Saturday, September 13th and 14th with new activities and more than 5,750 athletes running from Cannon Mountain in Franconia to Hampton Beach.
Posted Wednesday, 11 September, 2013
HOPKINTON, Mass. – The New Balance Reach the Beach Relay (RTB) will celebrate its 15th anniversary on Friday and Saturday, September 13-14. with new activities and more than 5,750 athletes running from Cannon Mountain in Franconia to Hampton Beach. Teams of 6 to 12 runners will rotate through 36 transition areas as they cover the 200 mile race. Runners rotate in a set order covering approximately 16.5 miles each over three run segments until the final runner “reaches the beach”.
In 1999, 30 teams finished the inaugural event which started at Loon Mountain, including a team with Danvers resident Jack McManus, the sole athlete to have run in all 15 consecutive relays. McManus credits team camaraderie and amazing volunteers with bringing him back each year. “The fun, the laughs, creating memories with an incredible group of runners, and meeting runners from different parts of the country motivate us to return each year,” McManus said. “The race is an incredible challenge.”
This year’s relay will begin on Friday, September 13 at Cannon Mountain in Franconia with 490 teams and runners coming from as far away as Europe, South America, and Asia to take part in RTB. The event is recognized as one of the premier relays in an industry that has become crowded with adventure racing. New this year is a van decorating competition to reward the creativity many teams use to identify their large vans, which become their home-away-from-home during the race. In addition, a mobile scavenger hunt created by Boston-based SCVNGR will give teams clues and challenges along each of the 36 race legs for a chance to win prizes. New race categories such as FreeStyle and Half-Team, and 15th Anniversary commemorative items will add to the excitement of this milestone year.
New Balance joined as title sponsor for the race in 2010 due to the unique nature of the event and this year will bring the brand’s Runnovation campaign to the race. The Runnovation campaign celebrates the evolution of running and seeks to document real people and elite athletes who are redefining the current and future of running. New Balance will have four teams participating in the race this year including one team that is made up of Team New Balance Elite Athletes, company associates and international retail partners. Cameras along the course will capture footage from the relay and share it through the brand’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hash tag #Runnovation. For more information on the campaign at the New Balance Reach the Beach Relay please visit https://www.facebook.com/Newbalance.
Event organizers work closely with town officials on permitting, police details and EMTs at every relay transition. In addition, Reach the Beach partners with local PTAs, Boys & Girl Scout Troops and church groups who are given donations ranging from $300-$1,800 for providing volunteers to work with trained captains in each town. Volunteer groups can raise additional funds by selling refreshments to runners who spend time at each relay transition location.
“From our very first race 15 years ago we made it our mission that we didn’t just want to run through the towns we pass, we wanted to create connections with them,” explained RTB Race Director Mike Dionne.
Event charity partners also sponsor teams to raise money for important causes. Charity partners of the 2013 relay are the JDRF New England Chapter and the Alzheimer’s Association’s Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter, which has raised more than $300,000 through Reach the Beach charity teams.
“The New Balance Reach the Beach Relay draws people from all over the country to come together for two days, focused on having a great time running,” said Andy Downin, Event Manager for New Balance. “Mike Dionne and Rich Mazzola, the founders of the Reach the Beach Relay are Runnovators; this relay is the definition of social running at the event level. These unique events have helped define the future of running in an experience that is physically challenging and socially rewarding. As a brand founded on running we are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring such a positive experience to runners through the Reach the Beach Relay Series.”
More details can be found at www.rtbrelay.com.