From April 3 through April 5, Run Albion hosted the Spring Into Action Virtual Pop-up 5k event. In a time where the community is social distancing, Run Albion attempted to bring it back together.
“In the spirit of creating community while we help protect each other from the spread of COVID-19, Run Albion hosted its first pop-up virtual 5k this weekend!” said Run Albion in a statement on its Facebook page.
The premise for this “virtual” race was that anyone could walk or run it throughout the weekend, regardless of where they chose to run. Especially for students who returned home for the school year, this race allowed the community to feel connected during a time of separation.
“Though we will not run or walk this 5k together in person we can take comfort in knowing that we are together in spirit,” said Run Albion on the registration website.
A $5 registration fee was required for participation. However, all registration costs for the run as well as additional donations were given to the Albion-Homer United Way Emergency Relief Fund, helping provide necessary resources for those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While there was no winner, per se, all virtual run participants helped make a difference in the community last weekend, no matter their pace.
Ultimately, the 26 participants raised a total of $685 for the Emergency Relief Fund. The Albion Community Foundation matched this sum, generating a grand total of $1360 to be donated to the United Way Relief Fund.
In fact, all of the Run Albion race proceeds go directly to non-profit organizations in the area. According to the Run Albion website, local sponsors cover the costs of each race, leaving participant registration fees to be donated to nonprofits in exchange for volunteer support. In 2019, Run Albion donated nearly $3000 to local nonprofits. Their website states, “When you Run Albion you can know that you’re making an impact in Albion.”
This summer, Run Albion will be hosting three more 5k and 10k runs, the first of which was originally scheduled for April 20, will also be run “virtually” due to the continuation of social distancing guidelines.
“Regretfully, due to the circumstances surrounding public health, our first race (Run the Rock) will be run only virtually,” said Run Albion in another statement on their Facebook page.