Jun. 14—NEWBURYPORT — After going virtual last summer due to the pandemic, the Lions Club Yankee Homecoming 5K race will return to the streets of Newburyport this summer.
According to Lions Club president Bob LaFrance, the 62nd annual Yankee Homecoming race will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 3 at 6 p.m. and the hope is for the race experience to be as close to normal as possible. The biggest difference this year will be that the traditional 10-mile race won't be held due to the logistical difficulties of holding the event on such a quick turnaround.
"With all the COVID restrictions being lightened it's become available that we'll be able to do it live, so we are excited about doing it," LaFrance said. "Because of the short notice we're only able to do the 5K, it's overwhelming to cram in seven weeks what we normally do in months. We didn't want to go virtual this year, we wanted to go live because that's what everyone wants."
First established in 1960, the Yankee Homecoming race has become one of Newburyport's highest profile sporting events and the major fundraiser for the Newburyport Lions Club, which has raised well over $700,000 for eye research and for local charities.
While last year's virtual races were successful, LaFrance said the money raised was not nearly what it would have been in a normal year and that the Lions Club was excited for the opportunity to go back to a live format. He added that the club expects the 10-mile race will return next year, but that in the meantime he hopes those who normally choose that race will consider the 5K instead.
This year's 5K will follow the race's usual route, and registration will be $35 per runner or $25 for those 16 and under. Those interested in running can register online in advance or in person on race day from noon up until shortly before the race begins at 6 p.m. T-shirts will also be available for the first 2,000 runners who register.
For more information, or to sign up online, visit yankeerace.com.