Innovative Virtual Around the Bay Road Race keeps legendary event moving forward
The oldest long-distance road race in North America, Around the Bay Road Race, keeps coming up with fresh twists to make it interesting for its legion of fans past, present, and future who can all participate in this year’s unique and impressive virtual event.
“Once we made the decision to host a virtual Bay Race in March 2021, we started brainstorming ways to make it exciting and fun,” says race director Anna Lewis. “We’ve added some fresh new elements but also want to keep the traditions that people know and love about the race. We’re excited to share what we have in store for this year’s event.”
Participants can run their Virtual Around the Bay Race and submit their results anytime from March 25 to April 25.
Virtual for 2021, the Around the Bay Road Race spirit imbibes this year's event with race spirit
The virtual event also features a new race category called The Hammer sponsored by Hoka and that is participants who run the 2K, 5K, 10K, 15K, and 30K during the virtual race period. Individual times from each of these events are combined to offer participants their — stop, Hammer Time!
There is also a special race kit for Hammer participants including:
· Bay Race Neck Gaiter & tech T-shirt, 2020 5K medal personalized with 2021 virtual time & name
· Bay Race long-sleeve tech race shirt
· 2020 30K medal personalized with 2021 virtual race time & name
· New Hammer medal with a personalized tab on the back
Other race categories include the traditional 2K, 5K, 10K individual, 15K individual, 2x15K relay, 3x10K relay, and 30K. Each race category offers a unique corresponding item including T-shirts, gaiters, personalized medals and more.
To commemorate this unique occasion, Around the Bay has commissioned a new anthem by up-and-coming singer and songwriter Abigale from Hodge’s Cove, Newfoundland. The song premiered on Feb. 9 and adds another piece of already storied race history.
Check out the "Around the Bay Race Song" by Abigale
“One day we had the idea to write a song about my hometown and the feeling of belonging in a particular place. While most certainly ’Round The Bay is a Newfoundland expression when I co-wrote the song with Zack Werner, he shared his experience being a long-distance runner and he mentioned that he had run a challenging race called Around The Bay, so it was in our minds,” Abigale explains. “We kind of felt like the journey around the bay: taking you back home, was something everyone could relate to. We changed some of the lyrics and made this special version just for the race. I look forward to being part of the race next year, hopefully performing the song live for the participants and spectators.”
The race dates back to 1894, which makes it the oldest long-distance road race in North America. It’s held every spring in Hamilton, Ontario. But this year, runners from across North America have the opportunity to participate in the virtual event and add their names to the race legacy and help keep it going for years to come so others can enjoy this unique and special event.
Around the Bay Road Race is the oldest of its kind in North America
There will even be some of the unique characters from the race cheering on participants, virtually, including The Grim Reaper, Captain Obvious, and Stan.
“This race has endured since 1894, and it has had several challenges along the way including World Wars, construction, and now COVID-19,” Lewis says. “What has helped the Bay Race persevere is the great Hamilton community, its loyal participant base and the many volunteers who contribute to its success. However, this pandemic has unquestionably hindered our ability to continue so participation in the virtual race will help us through this very difficult time so we can meet everyone back at the start line in 2022.”
For more information go to the Around the Bay website.