With two months before runners take off through the streets of Holmes Beach, hopes are high for sponsors for the 13th annual Dolphin Dash 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run.
Coordinating the race for the first time, Kelly Gitt aims to pull off an event that is fun for everyone and provides an opportunity for businesses that have struggled with the impact of red tide to gain publicity through sponsorships.
Sponsors will get company logos or names printed on the back of Dolphin Dash T-shirts, which participants receive in their race swag bags. The deadline for sponsorship registration is Thursday, Nov. 15, and costs $100 minimum.
Sponsors also can place promotional material in race bags and offer prizes to winners. The sponsor with the largest donation will get its logo or name placed on the middle back of the shirt.
“We find that, on the island, there are a lot of local businesses and they’re always the ones to give,” Gitt said in an interview Nov. 7. “They’re super-generous with all of us, and we really want to do everything we can to acknowledge all of them.”
The event, coordinated by Gitt and supported by the Bradenton Runners Club, will benefit the Anna Maria Elementary Parent-Teacher Organization. The race will be Jan. 19, 2019, with day-of registration at 7 a.m. in the south parking lot at AME, 4700 Gulf Drive N., Holmes Beach.
The 5K will begin at 8 a.m. and the 1-Mile Fun Run will step off at 9 a.m. After the races finish at AME, awards will be presented for age brackets.
Gitt helped with the 2018 race in January, following runners in a golf cart and cleaning up the track behind them. She said the event typically draws 150-175 people, but she hopes to register 200 for the 2019 race.
Additionally, Gitt hopes to attract volunteers, including students of local schools seeking credit for service hours.
Gitt also wants past runners to contact her about their experiences in the Dolphin Dash.
“If there is anybody that would be willing to share their story with us, we’d love to hear it ahead of time, so we can promote that at the race,” Gitt said. “We’d like to know who is really in the race and why they run it.”
The deadline to register as a runner will be Jan. 12, with a race fee of $35 for adults and $15 for children, as well as a $3 signup fee.
Go online to runsignup.com or runnergirl.com to preregister or for more information. Prospective sponsors or past runners can call or text Gitt at 941-357-448 or email her at email@example.com.