Contact: Mark Ericson
For Immediate Release
January 11, 2024
Running For Special Olympics is New Fundraising and Fitness Campaign
Special Olympics New Hampshire Named Millennium Running 2024 Official Charity
Bedford, NH (January 11, 2024) – Special Olympics New Hampshire (SONH) has announced a year-long campaign centered on running. “Running For Special Olympics” is comprised of a fitness program designed to encourage SONH athletes to run on their own or take part in organized races around the state and a series of fundraisers related to running events.
Bedford-based Millennium Running has named SONH as their official charity for 2024. The new partnership will allow Special Olympics athletes to participate in 14 Millennium Running signature events, and SONH staff and volunteers will attend those races to provide information about the more than 60 local programs and 75 school-based programs in the state.
Millennium Running will provide free race participation to registered SONH athletes and encourage all participants in these races to donate to Special Olympics New Hampshire. Millennium Running founder and owner John Mortimer started the yearly charity program in 2017. Since Millennium Running’s start in 2011, Mortimer proudly notes that his company has been responsible for $1,627,576.81 in donations to non-profit organizations.
The 14 signature events that SONH will be taking part in will see about 40,000 runners in 2024 Mortimer estimates. He acknowledges that most race participants are running for fitness and/or competition, but he says that the running community is aware of his charity program and says, “It makes the runners feel real good about competing.”
SONH athlete Amy Spotts is a 5K runner and SONH Athlete Leader with Nashua’s Plus Pride SONH program. She will be leading the charge for other SONH athletes to participate, and she will be running in 15 events in 2024 including her first-ever 10K race. She says her ultimate goal is “To become the first female long-distance runner to represent SONH at a national and international competition.”
SONH will also be involved with other running events in 2024. SONH athlete Liam McNeil is part of Hudson Special Olympics and a student at Alvirne High School. He’s been running since 2013. He will be running in the Boston Marathon in 2024 representing SONH athletes. Brian Allard is the Assistant Director of the New Hampshire State Fire Marshal’s Office and a long-time runner. He has also taken part in the New Hampshire Law Enforcement Torch Run to benefit SONH. He will be partnered with Liam, and the duo will be running Boston as a fundraiser for Special Olympics New Hampshire. It will be the first time either of them has run the Boston Marathon and it will be Liam’s first-ever full marathon.
SONH Thomas Cantara of Nashua will be running the Boston Marathon for the sixth time in 2024. He ran Boston in 2:38:25 in 2023. This year the Boston Athletic Association is introducing a new Para Athletics Division for athletes competing with intellectual disabilities. The change means that, depending on his finish time, Cantara could be eligible for prize money in 2024.
SONH Board Chair Eric Tinker and athlete Charlie Helfrich will be running in the Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race in June. Last year the pair of runners ran in the Boston Marathon. This year their fundraising efforts will take them to the summit of the highest peak in the Northeast.
In 2023 they reported that Heartbreak Hill wasn’t as challenging as they thought it would be. This year they will test their hill-running skills on 7.6 uphill miles of the Mount Washington Auto Road.
SONH President and CEO Mary Conroy expressed gratitude about Special Olympics being named the charity of choice By Millennium Running. “Special Olympics New Hampshire has a lot to look forward to in 2024. Not only are we excited about being Millennium Running’s official charity, but I’m hopeful that we can introduce more of our athletes to the fitness benefits of running” she said.
For questions about the running events related to Special Olympics New Hampshire please email Mark Ericson at MarkE@sonh.org. More information about Special Olympics New Hampshire is available at www.SONH.org.
Special Olympics New Hampshire (SONH) is an accredited program of Special Olympics International (SOI) and is part of an international global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports, every day around the world. We empower people with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all. Using sports as the catalyst and programming around health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance.
About Millennium Running:
Founded in 2011 by NH native John Mortimer, Millennium Running is New England’s largest road race company with over 79,000 participants finishing its signature events, managed events and timed events, annually. Since 2011, Millennium has distributed over $1,600,000 to local organizations and nonprofits from event proceeds and fundraising. Millennium Running Offices and Running Specialty Store is located in its headquarters in Bedford, NH.