Running for a reason: Justin’s Beach House plans 5K Run/3K Walk

Registration has begun for the annual Justin’s Beach House Memorial Day Weekend 5K Run/3K Walk. This year’s event will see a few changes, ending the race with a grand finale where the finish line will be on the Bethany Beach boardwalk.

The race takes off Saturday, May 25, at 7:30 a.m.

“This is one of the two major fundraisers that Justin’s Beach House and the Justin W. Jennings Foundation sponsor,” said the foundation’s executive director, Kathy Green. “All of the proceeds from this event go to the operation of the house. Monies raised here help keep that house running.”

In 2012, 34 families dealing with cancer vacationed for free at the respite house on Route 26, named for a local for Jennings, who passed away from cancer at age 19 in 2000. Guests ages 2 to 87 came from six states to escape doctors and medical concerns for some peace in Bethany Beach.

Early registration for the event ends May 23. It costs $25, and registering early guarantees runners a free tech T-shirt. Race Director Rick Hundley recommended that people sign up early for the event, which he expects to sell out, even with expanded registration.

Awards will be given to runners in overall, runner-up, masters and age-group categories. The 5K is chip-timed by Piranha Sports, and Seashore Striders will manage the overall event.

The event will also feature a quarter-mile Kiddie Dash for children 5 and younger, beginning at 7:15 a.m. Pre-registration is not required for the free kids’ event, but T-shirts are not being offered to participants.

“It’s fun. It gives the little kids a chance to get out there and stretch their legs,” said Hundley, adding that some children also return to join their parents for the 3K walk.

Regular runners and walkers will loop through Bethany before converging on the boardwalk to finish the race. After the race, participants receive a goodie bag. Plus, they get to unwind at a boardwalk after-party with music, refreshments and other treats.

It doesn’t hurt that springtime weather is expected to be in full bloom by Memorial Day weekend.

“I run the race every year, and we’ve always had beautiful weather,” said Hundley. “We’ll beat crowds, beat the heat and take our time on the boardwalk.”

People who want to volunteer for the event without running can also register online as a volunteer. The race thrives with help from sponsors, who can contribute items to participants’ goodie bags and help with other aspects of the event. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Anne Baker at Justin W. Jennings Foundation at (302) 261-2510.

Registration and race details are available online at