Ocean to Sound 50 mile relay raises funds
On Sunday, September 25, hundreds of runners from Long Island and the surrounding metro area will wake up early and pile themselves into a vehicle with seven of their friends. The trunk will be filled with water, Gatorade, bananas, and salty, crunchy snacks (possibly a few mini bottles of Fireball for the rowdier groups!). The destination? Jones Beach. It won’t be a usual day at the beach with friends, though. Those eight buddies will be playing a strange variation of leapfrog between the hours of 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM on a northward, winding, 50-mile, eight-station journey to… another beach. Not to be left out, a small handful of runners will do something even more wild; they will not have seven of their friends join them on this grand expedition, but rather, they will start as individuals at 7:00 AM and run the entire fifty miles solo with a doable-but-aggressive 9-hour cutoff!
There will be a finish line and an epic after-party with food, celebratory beverages, and live music waiting for them as the final friend (or tired individual!) crosses the line at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay, each team member having completed a “leg” of five to seven miles (and the individuals, the whole fifty!) on some of the most picturesque (and hilly!) sections of Long Island. If successfully coordinating a journey like that isn’t an accomplishment in and of itself, there are awards to be had for those who do it the fastest, and for those who do it with the most spirit. Most importantly, however, their collective effort will go toward a worthy cause – helping local survivors of domestic violence create a new story for themselves and their families.
The Ocean to Sound 50 Mile Relay is a classic event for the Greater Long Island Running Club. This year, it has earned an even longer name – The Ocean to Sound 50 Mile Relay for Survivors of Domestic Violence Presented by PSEG Long Island. PSEG Long Island has generously signed on as a new presenting sponsor this year to help make sure the event will flourish. IvyRehab Network provides physical therapy and other rehabilitative services in many locations across Long Island and has once again returned to sponsor the event and chat with partygoers. Not to miss the promise of a good party, the owner and general manager of CycleBar of Huntington (opening Winter 2023) have also chosen to sponsor the Relay and will be at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park to cheer finishers on and talk about the benefits of cross-training.
In preparing for Ocean to Sound this year, Race Director Bob Sherman and GLIRC General Manager Suzanne Nelson wanted to serve a charity sector that the Greater Long Island Running Club has never facilitated funding for before. They did some research and saw the statistics for domestic violence on Long Island. While reading, they noticed that incidents have been exacerbated exponentially by the pandemic. They carefully chose the organization Brighter Tomorrows, Inc, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, to be the charitable beneficiary of this event. Brighter Tomorrows has been in existence since 1986, and provides a hotline, emergency shelter, and legal services for survivors right here on Long Island.
Getting others excited about running is one of GLIRC’s main goals. Serving others through charitable works is another. Suzanne took on the role of managing the organization in June and one of her main goals for the Club is to facilitate even more funding to the local charities that need it most. Realizing that she could make all of those things happen at once, Suzanne talked to Bob, and they have incorporated the option of participant fundraising into this year’s Ocean to Sound. If teams can raise $1600 and solo runners can raise $200 for Brighter Tomorrows (almost triple their entry fees, respectively), they will be refunded their entry fee by the race. As teams and individuals tell their families, friends, and strangers why they’re running, they will get others interested in the sport and open their hearts to serving others.
Suzanne and Bob took the opportunity to visit the Executive Director of Brighter Tomorrows, Dolores Kordon (at an undisclosed location to protect families, employees, and volunteers). With them, they bought a big box of blankets leftover the Club’s 2018 Rob’s Run. Dolores told them that when families in crisis seek emergency shelter, they often leave their homes in the middle of the night with little else but their children, and the clothing on their backs, while an abusive partner is out of the home and detained by law enforcement. The shelters are always in need of blankets, infant/toddler clothing, and especially in need of diapers.
The Club has a bin in their Clubhouse located at 101 Dupont St. #24, Plainview, NY 11803 for anyone who wishes to drop off donations before Ocean to Sound. There will be collection bins for Brighter Tomorrows shelters at the party area of the race on September 25, and everyone is encouraged to bring something with them to donate.
The race is still open for registration. All participants will receive a race shirt, however the first twenty teams to enter will receive a special surprise shirt! There are just a few slots remaining for that option, so team captains, get on it! Early registrants save the most money. The price will increase two weeks before event on September 11, and there will be a final increase for those who register on race day at Jones Beach.
Ocean to Sound was designed to show off the natural beauty that Long Island holds. This year, it will do exactly that, but it will also show off the natural beauty of the Long Island running community, coming together to raise funds for local families who need a loving hand.