Courtesy Sports in Motion Photography

The Race half-marathon/5K is back to highlight and support black-owned businesses, neighborhoods, and charities. The weekend experience, includes a health and wellness expo at the Impact Event Center (Friday, Oct. 1), race day (Sat, Oct. 2) and Community Impact Service Day (Sun, Oct 3).

“Our theme for 2021 is unity,” said Tes Sobomehin Marshall, race director and founding partner of The Race.  “We had a year where we had to hone in on what was important to us. And one thing we learned as runners, walkers or endurance enthusiasts – these events are about more than signing up and getting a medal. It’s really about unity, health & wellness, seeing people, hopefully hugging and high-fiving again.”

Planning is underway to keep events mostly outdoors and learn from in-person races this summer. The route will continue to wind through black neighborhoods in Southwest Atlanta like West End, Adair Park and Sylvan Hills.

“Same start and finish. Same beautiful hills. I wish we could get rid of that last hill but we’ve got to get back to the finish,” Marshall said.

In 2020, The Race pivoted to a virtual event due to COVID-19.

“We picked up a lot of new interest because you could participate anywhere in the world,” Marshall said. RACErs from nearly 40 states and several countries took part. That’s why 2021 will also offer a virtual option.

Sponsors also continue to fuel The Race’s growth. Legacy Vibranium Level Sponsor lululemon ramped up its support via its Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Action (I.D.E.A.) mission — “to encompass a culture of inclusion where diversity is celebrated, equity is the norm, and action is the commitment,” per CEO Calvin McDonald’s website statement.

Lululemon will provide funds, an international platform and incentives for volunteer and nonprofit participation.

“The company has always seen the value of The Race to the community and aligned its brand strength with ours,” Marshall said. Other legacy sponsors include Juvare, H.J. Russell & Company, Cam Swank and more.

The Race 2021 seeks to expand its charitable impact.

Five dollars from every registration fee goes into a Charitable Impact Fund awarded to nonprofits engaged in neighborhoods along the route, such as Carrie Steele-Pitts Home that provides community-based child welfare services, Leading Initiatives for the Less Fortunate Together (L.I.F.T), and the Westside Future Fund. RACErs may also make additional donations to a nonprofit of their choice. And organizations that provide volunteers, like Girls on the Run Atlanta, Kilometer Kids and Buy from a Black Woman also receive a donation from The Race.

“Our goal for this year is to have at least 10 projects that can field a minimum of 25 people. Most will be outdoors – cleanups, gardening/landscaping for a community center – that can bring in larger groups of people but still be safe”

The Race welcomes all races, creeds, paces and speeds. To register visit theraceuc.com (prices increase August 1).