The 9th Annual Outer Banks Marathon will be run over Veteran’s Day Weekend which is when it’s held every year. It’s a huge event with approximately 6,500 participants lasting over the course of this weekend.
One of the best features of this event is how inclusive it is for a variety of people. There’s something for everyone over the weekend, fun runs, a 5k and 10K and a half marathon, making this a real family event. With the history of the event, a fundraiser for the Dare Education Foundation (DEF), it makes perfect sense that this event should be family-friendly.
Now sponsored and organized by Outer Banks Sporting Events (OBSE), the Marathon was originally conceived as a way to help fund the programs of the DEF, and half the net proceeds from the marathon and other races the OBSE sponsors continue to fund The DEF mission with the balance going to the Outer Banks Relief Foundation.
In addition to the Marathon, the OBSE sponsors three other races throughout the year. The Flying Pirate Half Marathon and First Flight 5K will be held on April 18-19, 2015, and dressing like a pirate and running are both encouraged.
Storm the Beach is an obstacle course run on the Nags Head beach. That’s coming up the morning of June 14, so the weather should not be too hot and the setting beautiful. Rounding out the OBSE races, the Outer Banks Triathlon is held on September 12-13, 2015. Registration is limited and it has been completely filled the past two years.
The DEF did manage the Marathon for the first few years, but as the event kept growing it became apparent that organizing an event this large could not be done with a volunteer organization with an Executive Director as its only employee.
With the OBSE taking on race organization, the number of events has grown as well as the ability for organizers to manage the growth and demand. As a consequence, OBSE was able to turn over $140,000 to the DEF and Outer Banks Relief Foundation last year, and it appears it will be a comparable amount (or a bit more) this year.
Dare County schools consistently rank among the best in the state of North Carolina and the DEF has been important in helping the county maintain this high standard. This nonprofit, it’s not a part of the school system, supports both teachers and students through a number of innovative programs.
One of its most ambitious projects has been underwriting affordable housing apartments for teachers, offsetting housing costs that are significantly higher on the Outer Banks than other parts of the state.
The mission of the Relief Foundation is simple—help Outer Banks families in need. The amount of financial assistance is not exceptionally high, generally $500-$3000, but the money often represents a lifeline for a family that feels it can’t survive. According to foundation sources, since its founding in 2004, more than $1 million in relief funding has been handed out.
The Outer Banks Marathon and efforts of the OBSE are not the only sources of funding for either organization, but there is a genuine sense of well being knowing that sporting events that support overall health are also benefitting the health of the community.
For more information about this event, visit the Outer Banks Marathon website.