Our goal was 300” runner registrations and “we reached 758 as of the night before race day,” said Jim Williams, vice president for fund “and fun” development at Goodwill Industries-Suncoast, during the May 21 Hippy Dash 5K in Gulfport. “We are delighted.”
Because of the high turnout of race registrants and onlookers, Goodwill has scheduled their second 5K event in Gulfport for April 1, 2017, he said. The start and finish line was located next to the Gulfport Casino, 5500 Shore Blvd. S. The 5K route extended through neighborhoods in the city south of 22nd Avenue South.
“The race allowed people to see how pretty and diverse our houses are,” said Yolanda Roman, Gulfport’s Ward 3 councilwoman who also served as the event’s official race starter. “Word is getting around that Gulfport is a good place to have an 8 a.m. 5K run,” she said.
For this year’s Goodwill event, registrants could complete in a 5K chip-timed Hippy Dash; a one-mile Walk, Woof & Roll (strollers and dogs were included); or a quarter-mile Flower Child Fun Run. All proceeds benefitted Goodwill’s programs for adults with disabilities and for people with other barriers to self-sufficiency. All registrants received a themed T-shirt and goodie bag, while finishing racers also received medals. After the races, Salty’s on Shore Boulevard opened early to serve free food and beer.