With the support from the State of New Hampshire’s COVID Task Force, NH Governor Chris Sununu, the NH Attorney General’s Office, and nearly a dozen local towns and cities in NH, Millennium Running has safely produced 37 in-person events with a total of 11,267 finishers during the pandemic.
Millennium Running’s owner & founder, John Mortimer was instrumental in authoring guidance specific to “road races” published by the State of NH in June of 2021. The road race guidance published on NH’s “Safer at Home 2.0” website paved the way for the production of safe in-person events in NH – one of only a few States in the Country that have permitted events.
“We are lucky that we have strong leadership in the State of NH,” stated Mortimer. “The Task Force and State leadership took the time to listen and understand new concepts and ideas to safely produce events during COVID.”
The key to safely producing a COVID-safe event starts with social distancing, according to Millennium’s Chief Operating Officer, Mike Peabody. “Our team examined all aspects of our events in order to ensure we could safely produce an event,” he stated. “All our races were reinvented from top to bottom with a time-trial start format with runners starting 1 by 1 every 10 seconds.”
In June and July of 2021, Millennium rolled out new small-scale events with a maximum of 100 runners/walkers, called Exclusive 5k’s. The small-scale format allowed for the operational team at Millennium to fine tune event logistics while gaining customer and municipality confidence in the new format.
Millennium’s time-trial format ensured that an event would all but eliminate a mass gathering at bottlenecks during key points such as the start line, registration and the finish line. Additionally, the format also mitigates passing or packs on the course.
The time-trial format proved to be a scalable model for Millennium to safely produce larger events. The Enterprise Bank Boot Scootin’ Boogie 5k in mid-August saw 356 finishers, while the Allen Mello NH 10 Miler at the end of August had 617 finishers. Millennium Running produced the only notable triathlon in New England in September with 402 finishers in the Capital Well Sunapee Triathlon. By the fall, 911 finishers crossed the line at the Delta Dental New England Half Marathon in October and another 1,383 participants completed the CMC Manchester City Marathon (marathon, half marathon, relay, and 5k) in November.
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu experienced the format firsthand while in attendance at the Delta Dental New England Half Marathon on Oct. 11th. He complimented the process and stated, “John and his team at Millennium Running are designing something that quite frankly is perfectly designed and is a model. A model for all other States to get these races going and do it successfully.”
The model all but perfected by Millennium is scalable to a certain point, Mortimer acknowledged. “This format can be used for a road race up to about 4,000 to 5,000 participants, pending venue logistics, daylight or time on permits.”
Already in 2021, Millennium Running has had 2,454 combined in-person finishers at the Apple Therapy + Sports & Rehab Millennium Mile on New Year’s Day, HPM Insurance Snowflake Shuffle on January 17th, and the Primary Bank Super Sunday 4 Miler on February 7th.
Millennium Running also pivoted and produced 12 virtual events during the pandemic with 8,603 virtual participants.
In total since the pandemic began, Millennium had 20,726 participants combined for in-person and virtual events while raising $67,703 for local charities and originations from event proceeds. Charitable partners include Veterans Count, Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth, the NH Food Bank and dozens of other local organizations. Additionally, Millennium Running has selected The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester as the company’s “2021 Official Charity.”
Since 2011, Millennium has distributed $989,104 for charity and has seen 438,262 total finishers across their finish lines. In 2021, Millennium has a full slate of 34 events planned and is expected to surpass the 1 million dollars in all-time charitable giving while closing in on 500,000 all-time finishers.
“The 1-million-dollar milestone to charity is a big deal for our family-owned, small-business that was started in our basement,” stated Mortimer. “We are lucky to live in a great state and it’s an honor to be able to give back to our community.”
About Millennium Running:
Founded in 2010 by New Hampshire native, John Mortimer, Millennium Running is one of New England’s largest event management and timing companies with over 66,000 participants finishing its signature events, managed events and timed events, annually. Millennium has distributed nearly $1,000,000 to local organizations and nonprofits from event proceeds. In 2016, Millennium diversified with a Running Specialty Store located in its headquarters in Bedford, NH.