COVID-19 Virtual Run has already raised thousands for local hospitals and continues to grow
Running while also fundraising to battle pandemic is a positive experience
With the number of cases of COVID-19 still on the rise in Canada, hospitals are in dire need of support. And virtual runs seem to be an ideal way to fundraise. One virtual run, in particular, the COVID-19 Virtual Run for our Hospitals organized by VR Pro Races, is already working with three local hospitals as fundraising partners for the race and is hoping to add more across the country.
The race can be run anytime this summer. And there is something to be said for not only the value of staying healthy by getting outside and running, but also doing so while raising money for the battle against COVID-19.
“At this time when we have to social distance to avoid the spread and our real races have been cancelled, we can still all go out and run or walk and train,” says Kelly Arnott, the founder of VR Pro Races, which puts on one of Ontario’s most popular road races in Burlington’s Chilly Half Marathon. “Goals are so important and therefore having something substantial to work towards like your first 5K or 10K.”
The only thing missing is that sense of community with fellow runners. And, that’s what a well-organized virtual run can provide. Arnott is hosting a number of events over the summer, including the COVID Run in addition to a very lively and engaging online community for runners to share stories, get advice and tips and swap photos of their runs.
Arnott said she was asked by a few of the Chilly Half runners to take on the fundraiser, and she didn’t waste any time getting started. She began raising money for two local hospitals in Burlington and London, Ont. and has also added the Hamilton Health Sciences.
When registering, participants can choose the hospital they wish to support. Already more than 1,000 people have signed up, raising $15,000 and counting for local hospitals to go towards COVID-19 relief.
“Fundraising from this COVID-19 race is supporting our COVID response at Hamilton Health Sciences,” says Milaina Wright, of the Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation.
“We’ve been fundraising for this since March when COVID first started and we’ve already bought equipment and amenities like ICU beds, PPE, cardiac monitors, defibrillators, and transport ventilators all with the goal of helping frontline workers, and our clinical teams treat patients with COVID as well as the emergency and urgent care patients being treated at hospitals during this time as well. There is a lot going on.”
Registration for the race is $50-$60 and $15 goes directly to the hospital.
Upon race entry, COVID-19 Virtual Run participants will be sent virtual race kits and will be able to run or walk the race anytime between now and Aug. 30 before submitting the results.
Each participant will also receive the beautiful and unique COVID-19 medal, as well as a Clif gift pack, custom imprinted face mask, and race bib. There are is also a sweet race tank top available to purchase.
"So far 200 people have entered and almost $1000 in pledges plus we give $15 per entry to either hospital," Arnott says, who chose to use a rendering of COVID-19 coronavirus to created the most unique race medal one could imagine.
"I wondered about using the symbol of the virus but years from now we will be able to say we lived through this pandemic and we were in isolation for months but kept our spirits and fitness up and ran for our hospital,” she explains.
For more information head to the VR Pro website at www.VRPro.ca.