We’re checking in regularly to see what the endurance community is doing to keep the industry running forward in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. For more ideas, view creative virtual events, and creative use of the Postponement Tool.
A Ultra-Flexible Virtual Challenge, with Semper-Fi Fund
Semper Fi & America’s Fund Community Sports
One of Semper Fi Fund‘s most prominent programs is their Community Sports Program that encourages athletes to user athletic events to fundraise for their cause. With so many in-person races postponed or cancelled, Semper Fi Fund is looking for creative ways to keep their community involved – and raise a little money for their cause in the meantime.
Semper Fi & America’s Fund 19 Days of Quarantine Virtual Challenge
Introducing their new America’s Fund 19 Days of Quarantine Virtual Challenge. This challenge is the definition of inclusive: it’s low-cost (just $5) and includes all types of quarantine activity – walking, running or biking (indoors or out), as well as working out on home workout equipment or home exercise classes (like Zumba or Crossfit). Participants complete as much activity as they can between 3/27 and 4/14, submit results via online form (no proof required), and are eligible for “mystery prizes”. Engagement and interaction is encouraged via their Community Athlete Facebook Page.
Raising Money with a Low-Cost Event
While their entry fee is low and accessible to everyone, Semper Fi Fund is able to maximize fundraising by eliminating overhead and encouraging (but not requiring) donations and fundraising. In early returns, nearly half the registrants elected to also make a donation, and a handful are fundraising.
Using New(ish) RunSignup Tools
Semper Fi Fund is also taking advantage of two of the newer Runsignup tools, including a pop-up on the registration page that allows potential participants to get in touch with the organizers, and custom descriptions on the “Register” and “Donate” buttons at the top of their page.
Social Distance Training and Racing with Orca Running and Evergreen Trails
Training AND a Race
What sets the Social Distance Run apart from other virtual challenges is that it is not a single race or a cumulative set of challenges. Instead, it’s a training schedule for a full 8-weeks of running, with the participant choosing their ultimate distance to complete in the final challenge. Runners can choose distances to train for ranging from a 5K to a 50K – an option for everyone!
For a virtual event, this one has all the bells and whistles. There are multiple options, but the premium tier includes:
- A credit towards a future race from the company
- A bib
- Custom Tech Shirt (halfway through!)
- Custom finisher’s Medal
- Snazzy sticker
- Social Distance Run Pin
- Access to a Facebook Group and Strava Club for engagement
- Weekly training schedule and words of peace
- Daily jokes!
What really makes it special?
Race organizers are used to selling specific things: a cool race course, accurate race timing, a crowded and excited finish line, etc. In the absence of all of those, Orca Running is focusing on engaging runners with their other strengths: knowledge about running, a sense of humor, and a set of tools to encourage people from a distance.
Celebrating Accomplishment at the Charlottesville 10-Miler
When the Charlottesville 10-Miler was forced to cancel, they found themselves hearing from participants who had been training hard and were determined to run the distance regardless.
Recognizing that the value of the event is just as much about the fitness and preparation as the final results, the race is offering a free virtual run that allows runners to cross the “finish line” on their own, and appear in official results. This low-key, low-frills event is all about keeping runners running and giving them the opportunity to complete the event they have been training for.
For runners who want to pretend it’s the real thing, the official course will be marked on what would have been race morning. But that’s not the only way to participate – the course map is posted for runners to test it at another time, or runners can complete the run elsewhere or on a treadmill (no one should travel to the area to complete the official course).
The virtual race – and it’s value to the community – was featured on a local news site.