The Race of Hope Returns to Southampton this Summer on August 8

A summer tradition since 2016, the Race of Hope returns as an in-person event after going virtual during the pandemic.

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On Sunday, August 8, 2021, the Sixth Annual 5K Race of Hope to Defeat Depression will take place in Southampton Village.

Photo by: HDRF

The Race of Hope is back! On Sunday, August 8, 2021, Hope for Depression Research Foundation (HDRF) will hold its Sixth Annual 5K Race of Hope to Defeat Depression in Southampton Village. Last year the Race -- a Walk/Run that attracts hundreds of participants from the tri-state area -- went virtual due to COVID restrictions. This year’s in person event marks a careful return to “more-normal,” with specific measures such as staggered heats and required masks at the starting line to keep everybody safe.
“We are so excited to be able to gather again in person for this event that raises mental health awareness and critical funds for depression research,” said HDRF Founder and Chair Audrey Gruss, a Southampton resident. “Humans are wired to need warm social interaction. The isolation of the pandemic has taken a large toll on the nation’s mental health.”
Gruss noted surveys showing that over one third of Americans are struggling with depression and anxiety in the wake of the pandemic. She said: “As a society we are just beginning to identify the impact of the past 16 months. Understanding and developing treatments for these mental disorders is therefore critically important, and that is what this Race makes possible.”
Gruss is a Co-Grand Marshal of the Race along with East Hampton resident Arthur Dunnam. They will lead participants on a beautiful 5K (3.1 mile) loop around Lake Agawam in Southampton Village. The Race is open to all ages and speeds and walkers are welcome. The event has grown quickly over the years, with 750 participants in 2019. This year, organizers expect hundreds of participants, up to a maximum allowance of 500, per New York State guidelines. The Race of Hope has raised over $1 million for research since its inception in 2016.
It is important to note that the Race this year will still offer a virtual component for the thousands of racers who have embraced the cause and want to participate but live far away. They will still have the option to sign up and complete the distance in their own hometowns. These racers will also have a chance to share their stories and cheer each other through a special interactive live program broadcast by HDRF over social media on the morning of the actual Race. 
In-Person Registration Information:  
  • Go online to and register for a fee of $35 through July 12th (the price increases to $40 after this date).
  • Each participant will receive an ultra-lightweight vest, hat, race shirt, mask and finisher medal.  (While supplies last.  Gear is distributed on a first come first served basis)
  • Meeting Point: The Cultural Center, 25 Pond Lane, Southampton, NY
  • Date: Sunday, August 8, 2021
  • Time: Check-in begins at 7:15am and the Race of Hope begins at 8:30am SHARP.
Virtual Registration Information:
  • Go online to and register for a fee of $35 through July 12th (the price increases to $40 after this date).
  • Participants choose their own trail and receive special Race gear in the mail (while supplies last).  They can walk or run the distance on their own time and in their own hometowns.
  • The special live broadcast made especially for their virtual racers will begin on Sunday, August 8, 2021 at 8 AM.   The broadcast will be hosted by HDRF’s Race Director and Executive Director.  They will welcome viewers, show messages of hope from participants across the country, and then blow the starting gun at 8:30 am ET.   Any racers who want to complete their courses at the exact same time as the actual race in Southampton can do so with the live broadcast!