The epic Race to Recover America’s Missing Children rolled onto Topsail Beach in the autumn of 2015. The Internet hit show, “Fireball Run,” now in its 10th season, featured the Greater Topsail Island area in episodes 11, 12, and 13 of Season 9.
“Fireball Run brings more than 50 teams, and a viewing audience of more than 6 million, to a destination,” said Tammy Proctor, Pender County director of tourism. “When the Fireball Run teams arrive, they explore the region’s attractions and history through team challenges.”
The challenges on Topsail Island included target shooting with the Belle of Topsail and The Raven, and an opportunity to work with endangered sea turtles at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. Some Fireball Run teams held a rare artifact at the Missiles and More Museum while others learned to surf with the Surf City Surf School. Some teams ventured out onto the Intracoastal Waterway to hold yoga poses on a stand up paddle board with Ohana Paddle Sports.
Between challenges, the Fireball Run teams raise awareness for America’s missing children by distributing posters of a child. The entertainment show has assisted the Child Rescue Network in recovering more than 49 children.
“Fireball Run, based in Orlando, Florida, selected Topsail Island because of our historic impact on rocket technology,” said Proctor.
The theme of Season 9 was Space Race. The eight destinations, starting in Hartford, Connecticut and ending at Cape Canaveral, Florida, each had a connection to space. The show also featured four international astronauts in the adventure rally.
“The three episodes featuring Topsail Island are available for viewing on the Pender County Tourism website at visitpender.com,” said Proctor. “The entire ninth season is available on Amazon Video for $1 per episode.”
Proctor said watching the episodes featuring Topsail Island was especially enjoyable.
“It was fun finding familiar faces in the crowds as well as viewing the wonderful volunteers who helped when Fireball Run was here,” said Proctor.