The sixth edition of the Run 2 Respond Relay is scheduled for nine days in mid-August. The event raises funds for the Firefighter Five Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports the physical and mental well-being of first responders.

Lauren del Vecchio, left, of Kennebunk, and Sherri Wakeling, Arundel, run along Route 1 in Kennebunk Monday during the Run 2 Respond Relay. The annual relay starts at Great Cranberry Island in Maine and ends at the Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The event raises funds for the Firefighter Five Foundation. Wakeling and del Vecchio ran Stage 28, Biddeford Centrail Fire Station to the Wells Fire Station. Allyn Genest photo

The relay begins at Great Cranberry Island in Maine on Aug. 15 with a six-tenths of a mile swim and then makes its way 900 miles down the Eastern Seaboard, before turning inland, to Emmitsburg, Maryland. The relay concludes Aug. 23 at the Fallen Firefighters National Memorial in Emmitsburg.

Funds are raised from participant registration fees and runner sponsorships. Kennebunk resident Lauren Del Vecchio and Sherri Wakeling, of Arundel, have signed up to run Stage 28 on Aug. 17. The stage begins at Biddeford Central Fire Station and travels 13.1 miles to Wells Fire Station. The scheduled route is Alfred Street in Biddeford to Route 1, through Arundel and Kennebunk, on the way to Wells. To join or make a donation, visit

The Firefighter Five Foundation was founded in 2013 by Steve Bender, a volunteer firefighter and resident of Landenberg, Pennsylvania. The purpose of the foundation is to provide assistance to fellow emergency responders in becoming mentally and physically fit through activities and to promote well-being through causes.

Those interested in contributing can join the run, make a donation or sign up and run virtually. For more information, visit

According to the Run 2 Respond website, “The baton will be carried by hand non-stop from the friendly Great Cranberry Island in Maine to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Maryland. Day and night, through sun and storms. An incredible journey for an incredible cause. To join, you simply need to take a look at our route map and find a stage that suits you. Though each stage will have a leader, friends old and new are able to join the team and help carry the baton. You can join a stage in person or virtually. No matter where you are in the world, you can support the cause. Together, lets help those that help us.”

The relay spans eight states, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland. The Maine portion of the event has 31 stages and covers 243 miles. Baton transfers are made at fire stations along the route. The final leg for Maine runners is from Kittery to Greenland, New Hampshire.

The Run 2 Respond website includes a tab for tracking the baton throughout its journey from Maine to Maryland.

Baton transfer locations include Hopkinton, Massachusetts (home of the Boston Marathon starting line), World Trade Center Memorial, New York City, and Valley Forge and Gettysburg in Pennsylvania.

Each runner in the Run 2 Respond Relay will carry their own baton. Courtesy photo

Dan King is an editor/page designer for Mainely Media, LLC.