It's that time of year again when runners travel from all over to support the Seaside School Half Marathon and 5K Run. This year’s race has attracted 4,000 racers from over 40 states and five countries. 

“It takes an entire community of volunteers to make this race a success. We depend on over 350 community volunteers to oversee the weekend events and more than 75 incredible sponsors,” said Seaside school board member Ali Barrett.

All proceeds from the race go to the Seaside schools and will specifically support electives.

The students at Seaside Neighborhood School are able to participate in elective classes for gardening, which include traditional raised beds, hydroponics and aquaponics, music, art, industry certification courses in Microsoft Office and Adobe, modern jazz and ballet, an award winning robotics program and smaller math classes. Thanks to proceeds from the Seaside School race, the tradition of excellence continues at the high school level when the middle school expanded to include 82 students in 9th and 10th grades at the new Seacoast Collegiate High School.

The school, established in 1996, is one of the first of three charter schools in Florida.  As a charter school, the Seaside School receives some funding from the state, but the additional funds to support technology and extracurricular activities must be raised through events like this one.  Currently the Seaside School serves students in sixth through tenth grade with a plan to expand to fifth through eleventh grade levels in August 2014. 

“The Seaside School was founded on the belief that high quality education is achievable through the commitment of parents, teachers and the community,” said Barrett. “The race underscores what's possible when the community comes together to support education in South Walton county.”

 Ready, set, road closures

Both lanes of Highway 30A will be closed for the race from CR 395 at Seagrove to CR 393 at Gulf Place from 6 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The eastbound lane of Highway 30A from CR 393 at Gulf Place to Seaside will be closed from 6 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. The westbound lane of Highway 30A will re-open at 9:30 a.m. from Grayton Beach State Park to CR 393 at Gulf Place.