roundhouse run run 2018

Runner's participate in the 2018 Roundhouse Aquarium Fun Run in Manhattan Beach.

Run or walk from wherever you are in the world during the Roundhouse Aquarium Teaching Center’s 8th annual Fun Run for the Oceans.

The first virtual 5k fun run, Saturday, October 10, will raise funds for the Roundhouse to care for its marine animals and support its currently virtual, science-based education programs for people of all ages. Of course, money raised still helps for when the aquarium can reopen to guests. 

“If people wanted to bike or swim, we’re down for whatever,” said Valerie Hill, science director for the Roundhouse. “The point is just to get out there, be active and celebrate the ocean.”

Register as an individual for $30 or $43, which includes a fun run t-shirt; or create a team to compete with friends. 

It starts at 9:30 a.m., but runners can participate any time in the day and submit their times. Although runners won’t win prizes this time around, anyone — including those who prefer not to run — can purchase raffle tickets for $10 each, or six for $50, to be in a drawing for prizes like gift cards to local stores and restaurants, outdoor experiences and Roundhouse gear.

The live virtual Fun Run Raffle will take place at a date to be announced after the Saturday event. 

A live virtual event will kick off the fun run at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Hill said, with music from a local band, children telling ocean-themed jokes and aquarium staff showcasing some live animals. Whether it will be live streamed via YouTube or Facebook live is to be determined, she added. 

“Normally at the live event have a pet tank for people to interact with the animals, and a DJ, so we’re trying to get as close to the real thing as possible,” Hill said. 

Working toward a $20,000 goal, “We’re getting there but we’re definitely not quite there yet,” Hill said, and they’re hoping that a good amount of people register the day of, like many have in past years. 

“We usually use money from donation jars when people come visit” to take care of the animals and maintain education programs, Hill said. “Right now we’re just relying on the generosity of the community, as well as a few foundation and corporate supporters.” 

Roundhouse staff is especially grateful for sponsors Forbes Corrales Coastal Properties, Waste Management, So Cal Gas, Port of Long Beach, Regatta Capital Group, Dive N Surf and Bayview Pediatric Dental Group, Hill said, for making this year’s event possible because it still takes a lot of time and energy to put it on virtually.

Participants can also register and pick up t-shirts from 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday, October 8 and Friday, October 9 outside of the Roundhouse. 

“The nice thing is we have supporters from everywhere, so I think we’ll make sure to have a virtual option in future and livestream the whole event next year if we’re able to do it in person,” Hill said.

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