The Race of Hope is back! On Sunday, August 8, 2021, Hope for Depression Research Foundation (HDRF) will hold its Sixth Annual 5K Race of Hope to Defeat Depression in Southampton Village. Last year the Race — a Walk/Run that attracts hundreds of participants from the tri-state area — went virtual due to COVID restrictions. This year’s in person event marks a careful return to “more-normal,” with specific measures such as staggered heats and required masks at the starting line to keep everybody safe.
HDRF Founder and Chair Audrey Gruss is a Co-Grand Marshal of the Race along with East Hampton resident Arthur Dunnam. They will lead participants on a beautiful 5K (3.1 mile) loop around Lake Agawam in Southampton Village. The Race is open to all ages and speeds and walkers are welcome. The event has grown quickly over the years, with 750 participants in 2019. This year, organizers expect hundreds of participants, up to a maximum allowance of 500, per New York State guidelines. The Race of Hope has raised over $1 million for research since its inception in 2016.
It is important to note that the Race this year will still offer a virtual component for the thousands of racers who have embraced the cause and want to participate but live far away. They will still have the option to sign up and complete the distance in their own hometowns. These racers will also have a chance to share their stories and cheer each other through a special interactive live program broadcast by HDRF over social media on the morning of the actual Race.