WILLIAMSBURG – Despite last weekend's bout with snow, organizers of the Run for the Dream are hoping warmer weather and spring plans are on runners' brains. Chilly winter temperatures haven't slowed race organizers who are in full swing preparing for this year's Run for the Dream weekend in Williamsburg.
"We're on par with last year's registration," said Amy Ritchie, director of public relations and marketing for An Achievable Dream. "We expect it to pick up around March once it gets warmer and people start thinking about getting back outside."
This year they'll have to think sooner. Race weekend is June 1-2, a couple weeks later than in previous years.
This marks the third year for Run for the Dream, which includes an 8K run/walk, kids' fun run and half marathon. The event benefits both An Achievable Dream and Wounded Warriors. The races start and finish on the campus of the College of William & Mary with courses through portions of Colonial Williamsburg and along the Colonial Parkway.
"The competition with the end of school, graduations and weddings prompted us to change the date," Ritchie explained. "And while June weather's been a concern for people as far as heat, we expect it to be about the same temperature as in years past."
Ritchie anticipates each race will draw approximately 2,500 runners. Additionally, both races have enjoyed expanded participation from hand cyclists and wounded warriors, as well as active duty military.
While Ritchie said it's the race's policy not to release periodic registration counts, she did say tickets remained for Busch Gardens and Colonial Williamsburg. The first 3,000 runners to sign up get one free pass to Busch Gardens. The first 6,000 get a pass to Colonial Williamsburg.
Organizers have been spreading the word about Run for the Dream, visiting race expos for the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, the Anthem Richmond Marathon and the OBX Marathon. They'll also be present at expos for March's Shamrock Marathon and April's Monument Avenue 10K.
"We would like to have more runners from Williamsburg and community support to come out and cheer on the runners," Ritchie added. "There's also a big push for volunteers right now."
The 8K will serve as the 2013 USA Masters national championship for the third year in a row. The past two races have set national records.
Runners also can sign up for the Patriot Challenge, which is participation in both Saturday's 8K and Sunday's half marathon.
"Runners did that the first year spontaneously," said Ritchie. "We put it into place last year and the response has been overwhelming."
The Kids Fun Run, which features 1-mile, 100-meter sprint and 400-meter dash options, will take place in W&M's Zable Stadium on Saturday.
Runners also can form Dream Teams to run together and help raise money for the charities. According to Ritchie, the team that raises the most money will have a tent at the post-race bash.
More – Run for the Dream will take place Saturday and Sunday, June 1-2. Registration fees range from $25 to $75 depending on the race. Prices increase on May 1, 2013. For more information, including exact registration fees, visit http://www.runforachievabledream.com.