On October 7, 2018, a Category 5 storm ravaged Mexico Beach and a huge portion of Gulf County. Fifty-nine people in the United States lost their lives in the furious winds, rain, and surge of the water but even in the midst of one of the worst storms on record, a group of people came up with a plan that was sure to make a huge impact on those that were suffering.
Moved by the overwhelming need for assistance on the Florida Gulf Coast, a group of Atlanta business leaders stepped up to make an impact on those that were hurting. What resulted was a racing event that has raised more than $50 million since its inception. The idea behind the activities is that there was 50 miles of damage along the Florida coast, so they wanted the run to be 50 miles as well. However, since the inception in 2019, the race has expanded to include multiple lengths and even a virtual option. This year’s event is being held October 22 and 23 in Port St. Joe, Florida. Participants can choose to do the Friday Fun Run that is held in conjunction with a list of family fun events. These events start at 6pm in Downtown Port St. Joe that Friday night. Saturday morning, the 5k and 10k will take place with packet pickup Friday night from 5-7pm or Saturday morning from 7-830am. The 10k starts at 9am! The same packet pick-up times are available for the 5k and this run will also start at 9am on Saturday morning. The namesake of the run, the 50 miler, will be virtual this year to allow participants to do it at their own pace and at their own place. The price for the 5k is $35, for the 10k $50, and the virtual 50 miler is also $50. The Friday night fun run is free.
If you are not much into racing and still want to help, there is definitely a place for you! Donations are welcome through the 50forfl.com website and donations from the site go directly to the Dogwood Church for the single goal of loving people. Every dollar collected during this event as a donation goes to churches in Port St. Joe and dispersed to help fill the needs of the people in that area. This event is definitely not possible without sponsors to offset costs. Businesses and individuals who are interested are welcome to help sponsor the event in four different categories. The $150 sponsorship will get you a race route sign. The $500 bronze, $1,000 silver, and the $2500 gold level sponsorships come with your advertisement in the runner package, your name or logo on a race route sign, finish photo banner, and a volunteer shirt.
One thing is for sure, this event impacts and changes lives along the Florida Gulf Coast but they cannot keep making such impressions without your help. Please visit the website mentioned above and take the next step in helping those in need. You will not regret an instant of this event.