With live running events on hold through the spring and much of the summer coinciding with increased need for services provided by local non-profits due to the current pandemic, we saw an opportunity to create events that would inspire runners and walkers to focus on personal health goals while raising funds for organizations to continue their important work providing services to the local community.
We organized the “Get Out, Give Back” Virtual 5K Run/Walk Series and “The RunVermont Virtual Adventure”. Seeing a sharp rise in the number of people choosing to focus on their health, RunVermont wanted to provide a positive outlet for the pent-up energy that we have all experienced with our current reality. And when combined with an initiative to support local non-profits that have been called upon as never before, it seemed like a sure bet.
The “Get Out, Give Back” Series was designed to encourage seasoned and new runners and walkers to complete a 5K on a course of their choice within a 4-week window. Participants could choose to do a single event or all three offered in the series, with each event supporting a different local charitable partner. $15 of every $25 registration fee went directly to the charitable partner.
“The RunVermont Virtual Adventure” provides a summerlong goal adding up daily miles, giving participants through September 7th to complete one of four virtual routes across northern (126 miles) or southern Vermont (45 miles), the length of Vermont (219 miles), or the full perimeter of Vermont (553 miles). For this event we gave participants the choice of three charitable partners to direct $10 of their registration fee toward supporting their causes.
We love the enthusiasm from the hundreds of runners from coast to coast participating in the events displayed on social media with many of you showing off homemade medals and your personal cheering squad family members cheering you on along your routes and finish lines. We are so encouraged by the desire of our running community to remain connected through a virtual experience and making their miles count towards a greater cause.
We are very pleased to facilitate donations to the United Way of Northwest VT ($3,815), the Vermont Foodbank ($5,434.10), the Boys and Girls Club of Burlington ($2,740) and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Burlington ($50) on behalf of 625 runners and walkers. John Sayles, CEO of the Vermont Foodbank shared his appreciation for the events saying, “Thank you so much for organizing this amazing effort, and thanks to all the runners who made the commitment to raise funds in support of our neighbors.”
We live in an incredible community and we look forward to a return to live event racing. Watch for updates on our website. Stay healthy, continue to put one foot in front of the other!