The Bill Burby Inspirational Fun Run returns this summer in modified form as part of the overall downsized 2021 Island Strawberry Festival activities. This summer’s race will be referred to as “Bill Burby 39 ½ ” and indicates progress toward restoration of the race to its full glory. The last full-fledged race was the 39th annual event in 2019, as last year's race was canceled due to the pandemic. Not quite ready for the full-fledged 40th edition of the race, this year is dubbed “39 ½” to indicate movement toward the fully restored event, hopefully to occur in 2022.
"Bill Burby 39 ½” will begin at 8:30 AM on Saturday, July 17, 2021.
New changes/modifications for the race include: 1) a new challenging course, starting and ending at the VES Fields (Harbor School). 2) 5K run and walk options only (no 10K this year). 3) Lower prices: $15 for adults and $10 for children. 4) Awards to the top three overall finishers (men and women). Official timing will not be kept and age group medals will not be awarded.
“Bill Burby 39 ½” does preserve some of the Island Strawberry Festival historic traditions. First, it brings honor to Mr. Bill Burby, a former VHS coach and teacher of health, who influenced many young people toward healthy living. Mr. Burby died in 1989.
A second preserved feature of the race is to provide funds to be used by island sports programs and scholarships. This has contributed to sports success, and has given students opportunities for continued learning at the collegiate level.
A third and final preserved historic feature of the race is the continuation of the “Run for Ryan” program. This program honors the life of Ryan Krug, a dedicated high school runner who died tragically and suddenly in 2013.
In August of 2020, Aaron Burby, the son of Bill Burby, passed away from an undetected rare brain disease. Like his dad, Aaron was a very inspirational person who encouraged anyone whom he crossed paths and was a beloved member during his time in our community. He dedicated himself to health and fitness as he completed nineteen Iron-Man triathlon races. Aaron was also an avid swimmer, and has won the Bill Burby 10K Race named after his dad many times. For all of his athletic accomplishments he was even a better human being, as Aaron brought out the best of everyone he was around.
Contact the Bill Burby Fun Run Association at: