Beach to Bay

Beach to Bay

A Time-Honored Tradition of Beach to Bay

The Coastal Bend of Texas has been home to the Beach to Bay Relay Marathon since 1976. This prestigious 26.2-mile event, set for May 18, 2024, marks the 47th annual occurrence, reinstating its place in the community after a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately 8,000 runners from across the nation are expected to participate, including both solo runners and relay teams of two to six members.

Long-Standing Participants Share Their Stories

David Brooks, a devoted participant from Fayetteville, Arkansas, shares his long-standing connection with the event. “This will be our 39th year. We’ve been running since 1984,” he states with pride. Brooks’s story is not unique; many runners, like Brian Kauffman from Cincinnati, Ohio, travel great distances to partake in this event. For Kauffman, where he spent part of his youth, the marathon also serves as a homecoming to Corpus Christi.

A Tribute to the Armed Forces

Beach to Bay coincides with Armed Forces Day, dedicating each stride to the brave men and women serving in the U.S. military. The race’s inception traces back to Captain John Butterfield, a visionary who, at 96, still celebrates the event’s ongoing success. Doug McBee, the Race Director for the last 33 years, recounts, “While stationed at the Naval base here, Captain Butterfield started this race to honor military personnel.”

The Route of Beach to Bay

Starting on North Padre Island, the marathon spans through Naval Air Station Corpus Christi and concludes at McCaughan Park along Shoreline Drive. The relay race is divided into legs of approximately 4.4 miles each, accommodating various team sizes and capabilities.

A Community Effort

The race is a vibrant tapestry of age groups from six to over 80. It is not just a competition but a community festivity that bridges generations. “We’re looking forward to having fun, enjoying the weather, and honoring those we’ve run with before,” Brooks explains. This sentiment underscores the marathon’s dual purpose: competition and remembrance.

Looking Ahead

For those inspired by the camaraderie and challenge of Beach to Bay, the invitation to start training for the next event is open. “It’s a cool event if you want to be part of a meaningful community activity,” encourages Kauffman. Participants’ commitment to training months or even a year in advance highlights the marathon’s significance as a community and sporting milestone.

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