The Old First Night Run/ Walk has been a tradition at Chautauqua Institution since 1976. This season will mark the race’s 43nd year. It features a 2.75-mile perimeter run/walk of the grounds on Saturday to celebrate the Institution’s birthday, along with other festivities leading up to Tuesday evening’s celebration of Old First Night.
The run has been sponsored by ERA Team VP Real Estate and Vacation Rentals for a number of years. ERA Team VP broker and CEO Bill Soffel said the company was started at the Institution in the 1980s, and it is excited to continue funding the race.
“When we were presented with the opportunity to support the Old First Night Run, it not only gave us the chance to partner with Chautauqua financially,” Soffel said, “but also (partner) with the entire Chautauqua community by underwriting an event that gets great participation from Chautauquans.”
In addition to festivities on the grounds, there is also an “Around the World” race for Chautauquans who are not on the grounds during the event. For the past six seasons, DFT Communications, Partners in Technology, has sponsored this portion of the race because of the technological aspect and desire to connect with people who still want to participate by running in other locations and sharing their photos on social media.
“When the race was expanded to include runners anywhere in the world who wanted to be part of the virtual Old First Night race, we at DFT Communications knew we wanted to be a part of this technology-centered event,” said Mark Maytum, president and chief operating officer of DFT. “This year, we hope that even more runners will use web- based technology to register, record their race results and send photos of themselves running in their Old First Night race T-shirt.”
For information on sponsorship opportunities at Chautauqua, contact Megan Sorenson, associate director of the Chautauqua Fund, at 716-357-6243 or firstname.lastname@example.org.