Sure, we’d all love to be together this February, gathered around Seaside’s Central Square celebrating the 19th annual Seaside School Half Marathon & 5K. Just because this year’s race will be a virtual event, doesn’t mean that you can’t bring some of that Seaside magic to the route that you run, wherever that may be. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your virtual experience.

Train with a Community

While you may not be surrounded by hundreds of other runner on race day, you can still experience the camaraderie and community that you’ve come to love about the race by joining the event’s online Virtual Training Group. By joining, you will find access to run trainers who will help you meet the pace you’re looking to meet during your virtual race. Each trainer will be hosting a private Strava Group where you can train together and cheer one another on. In this group, you will also be able to swap healthy recipes, share injury prevention tips and commune with your fellow racers as you prepare for you virtual race.

Get Inspired

Race day in Seaside is enough to get any runner pumped up. The views of the Gulf of Mexico, the thumping music and all of the pageantry that makes race day so special create the perfect race atmosphere. Fortunately, you can transport some of these elements to your hometown. Race sponsor, Visit South Walton, has a library of photos and videos that will enable you to tour Seaside or any of your favorite South Walton locales right from home. Take a moment to enjoy the site and sound of waves lapping up on your favorite beach to get you into that South Walton state of mind.

Whether you are training, preparing for the race or getting warmed up for your own 3.1 or 13.1 mile course, our custom playlists will be music to your ears every step along the way.

Look the Part

Included with your registration, you’ll receive this year’s Billie Gaffrey-designed race t-shirt, a Vera Bradley pleated face mask and a Vera Bradley ReActive Sling Backpack, so you’ll be able to show off your race pride wherever you go. If you are looking for more gear, be sure to visit the official online store. When you are ready run your virtual race, suit up in your favorite Seaside School Half Marathon & 5K merch and know that you’ll be one of thousands of people doing so!

Taste of the Beach

(Photo from VIE Magazine)

The cuisine of Seaside and South Walton is synonymous with the race. If you really want to recreate race weekend from wherever you’ll be running, consider some of the tastes of South Walton before and after your run. Runners know that dinner on the night before a big race is as crucial as any other race preparation. Get inspired by some of dishes on the menus of race sponsors like Bud & Alley’s or Great Southern Café. Test your culinary skills at home and put your own spin on some of their signature items.

After your virtual race, slip on your finisher medal and crack open a cold beer from Grayton Beer Company. Their 30A Beach Blonde is available in grocery stores and restaurants throughout the Southeast.

Support the Seaside School

All proceeds from the race benefit the Seaside School and make a huge difference in the lives of the students. By registering for the virtual race, you are already making an impact. Thank you! Each year, race weekend offers more ways to support the school and this year is no different. While there won’t be a silent auction tent to peruse this year, there will be an online silent auction featuring amazing and one-of-a-kind items from race supporters – details on that coming soon. New this year is the Silent Auction Amazon Registry. Simply purchase an item from the registry to support the online silent auction.

And now… ready, set, give! To make a simple, online donation to the Seaside School, click here. 100% of the proceeds raised in this community challenge will keep the spirit of the Seaside School thriving. If you are able to make a donation towards our $20,000 goal, you won’t be alone; the Glavine and Ray Families have committed to match the first $10,000 in community contributions!

Mike Kerrigan

Author Mike Kerrigan

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