Endless Summer Run
Special Event Award for Resource-Based Recreation
The Endless Summer Run is an annual event at Anastasia State Park organized by the Friends of Anastasia and another nonprofit group, Don’s Friends. The 5K and 10K race began as a small event in 2003 and has grown to become a defining event for the community and the park.
In the past few years, the event has brought 400 to 700 visitors to the park each year. The last event was held Nov. 7, 2020, with more than 400 runners. Although this year's event was different due to the COVID-19 guidelines, the event was a great success and ensured all participants had a safe and enjoyable experience.
Much of the planning for the Endless Summer Run is led by Rich Gallik, the president of the Friends of Anastasia. He is an integral part of the event and spends many hours planning in the months leading up to the race.
The Endless Summer Run has grown to be a well-known event in the community. The Friends of Anastasia and Don’s Friends work closely to make sure every detail is planned. Materials and supplies for the event are provided by the Friends of Anastasia. The group also seeks sponsorship from local businesses, which has been an excellent fundraiser and a way to promote community involvement in the park.
Many local volunteers help with the event, setting up the course and water stations. The run usually takes place on the beach and through the nature trail, highlighting some of the park’s best features. Anastasia’s four miles of beach offer plenty of space for social distancing.
The event has brought many people to the park over the years. Families come to cheer on participants, so it brings people from all over the state. The race T-shirt, which features beautiful artwork of a sea turtle, is very popular and can be seen around town all year. It provides great advertisement for the park and for the event.
The Endless Summer Run is the most significant revenue generator for the Friends of Anastasia. In the past few years, it has brought in $10,000 to $15,000 each year. Due to this important revenue, the Friends of Anastasia have been able to financially support a wide variety of purchases for the park. In the last few years, the Friends of Anastasia has purchased five vehicles, eight golf carts, provided sand fence for dune restoration, sponsored staff trainings and purchased a number of supplies for the park.
2020 Florida State Parks Volunteer Recognition Award Winner