Gorgeous weather shined down on Long Beach last weekend as numerous community organizations and volunteers came together to rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy, clean debris from the beaches and canals and race to raise funds for storm relief.
Race2Rebuild held it’s second Run, Ride, Rebuild event on April 18. The endurance-based charity raised money for disaster relief efforts, and helped rebuild the homes of a number of Long Beach residents damaged in Sandy. Participants in Run, Ride, Rebuild raced either a 5K or tackled a duathlon made up of running and biking.
Organizers said that 142 athletes and 175 volunteers participated in the event. Professional triathletes Laurel and Rebeccah Wassner participated in the 5K. Laurel, the race’s first-place finisher, is a cancer survivor and winner of the 2014 Challenge USA race in Atlantic City. Her twin sister, Rebeccah, placed second, while runner Corey Rollner won the men’s division.
The event was sponsored by HGTV, DIY Network and Optimum Community and presented in partnership with the City of Long Beach, Rebuilding Together Long Island and 1156Run. Jason Cameron, star of DIY Networks’ “Man Caves,” “Desperate Landscapes” and “Sledgehammer” TV programs volunteered his time and skills for the rebuilding efforts.
“The Run, Ride, Rebuild event was a terrific success and an amazing way to kick off the spring season,” City Council President Len Torres said. “While the city was extremely proud to host and sponsor so many tremendous events all weekend, it was the incredibly connected Long Beach community who truly made the cleanups and celebrations possible.”
“The entire day, from the races to the rebuilding projects, all the way through the after party, was an incredible success,” added Keith Grant, president of 1156Run and the event’s race director. “I don’t think it could have gone any better. And we could not have asked for better support from the recreation staff or the Police Department.”
Race2Rebuild President Sarah Hartmann said the turnout for the event was extraordinary and that the amount of community groups involved, as well as cooperation from the city, made the event a success.