Imagine a family-friendly event that promotes fitness while highlighting the history of our hometown and is simultaneously contained in one of the most beautiful spaces in our community. The First Annual Greenlawn Cemetery “Tombstone Trot 5K” is scheduled for a 2:00 p.m. start time on Sunday, October 30, 2022, in the iconic Greenlawn Cemetery located at 1618 Offnere Street in Portsmouth.
Sponsored by the Friends of Greenlawn Cemetery Foundation, the “Tombstone Trot” is categorized as a “run, walk, roll, or stroll “event perfect for all groups of runners including the beginner. Participants will wind their way by the architecture and monuments on the roadways and brick streets of the historical 40-acre site. The 3.1-mile adventure will also provide runners the opportunity to enjoy the cemetery’s spectacular fall foliage and incredible horticulture throughout the cemetery.
Tri-State Racer will coordinate the event including a special “Kid’s Only” run immediately prior to the main event. Interested individuals can register online at the Tri-State Racer website, also accessible via link from the FOGCF Facebook page. Melissa Appleton, FOGCF board member added “Costumes are encouraged, but not required. We want this to be a fun event for everyone in the family.”
FOGCF Board Member Diane Applegate stated local celebrity and optometrist Mike Raies will emcee the event. She also explained how important it was to ensure the event was respectful to the cemetery. “There are no scary aspects to this 5K. Hundreds of individuals run or walk in Greenlawn every day, the “Tombstone Trot” just provides an organized family-friendly fall event for a good cause.”
Appleton added, “The Friends of Greenlawn Cemetery Foundation is always mindful of the families and loved ones of those buried there. There will be no running over gravesites or jumping on tombstones. The entire run will be on the established roadways.”
Ben Allen, FOGCF board member, added “one hundred percent of the proceeds from this event as with other board sponsored events, goes to the restoration and preservation of Greenlawn Cemetery. The Tombstone Trot 5K will hopefully become an annual family tradition. You are essentially running through history.”
Since its’ inception in 2017, the Friends of Greenlawn Cemetery Foundation (a 501(c)3 corporation) in cooperation with the City of Portsmouth and other local donors has completed approximately $407,000.00 in restoration projects within Greenlawn Cemetery. An additional $50,000 in projects is scheduled for the upcoming fall and winter.
For additional information about the Tombstone Trot 5K, visit the Tri-State Racer website or the Friends of Greenlawn Cemetery Foundation Facebook page.