There are 4,000 registered in the Seaside School Half Marathon and 5K, representing 43 states and five countries. However, this year, one longtime local will be making her debut in the race at the age of 83.



Sarah Modica, owner of Modica Market with her late husband Charles, Sr., has been witness to the tremendous growth in Seaside over the past 20 years, namely the Seaside Neighborhood School.



"It's just a wonderful addition to the Seaside community," she said. "I have two grandchildren in Bay Elementary and I would love to see them eventually get in the Neighborhood School. They have wonderful teachers and administrators. Robert and Daryl Davis just really put their heart and soul in it."



Modica isn't the oldest runner in the race at 83, she falls just one year short of that title. The youngest registered runner is 7 and the average age is 41. But she isn't daunted by the age gap and says her daughter Carmel will be there.



"It's a good time for me," she said. "I had a couple of falls last year so I've been working on my balance and stamina."



Seeing the race grow over the years has made Modica want to participate.



"I hope I don't fall on my face, but if I do, that's okay," she said with a laugh. "I'm doing it for the children."



Proceeds from the Seaside School race contribute to elective classes in gardening, music, art, technology, dance, yearbook and an award-winning robotics program.



And with thousands flocking to the 30A area for the race, it's also a great boost in the local economy.



"It's good for business, good for Seaside it's good for the community," Modica said.