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Virtual reality

Local running events adjust to pandemic

Joseph Abraham - Co-Editor
Posted 7/9/20

SULLIVAN COUNTY -- One of the highlights of the summer are the number of running events that bring communities together, offer a competitive atmosphere for harriers across the Hudson Valley and raise …

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Virtual reality

Local running events adjust to pandemic


SULLIVAN COUNTY -- One of the highlights of the summer are the number of running events that bring communities together, offer a competitive atmosphere for harriers across the Hudson Valley and raise money for several great causes.

Like everything else, these events have also had to adjust to the new norm caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and with them considered large gatherings, race organizers have had to think outside the box.

The result: a virtual race. Runners can register, run their own course and are encouraged to send and/or post a photo on social media so the comradery, although not the same, isn't lost.

Here are some races that already took place, what they raise money for and how you can still donate, as well as a list of upcoming virtual events (see sidebar).

Can't Hurt Steel

The Can't Hurt Steel 5K went virtual in May, with 150 people taking part.

"We were thrilled with the participation we saw," Can't Hurt Steel Community Foundation President and Co-Founder Kristen Hanson said. "It was so nice to see people active and engaged via social media."

Each year the race is organized by Board Member George Fountain. They didn't know what to expect with the pandemic as they had 200 participants in 2019, but were happy that they had 150 take part in this year's virtual race.

The mission of Can't Hurt Steel is to enhance the quality of life in their community and to provide support to community members during their greatest times of need.

The foundation supports health and wellness within their community by providing free or low-cost wellness programs close to home; connecting businesses, organizations, and individuals with resources that foster physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being. They also provide grants to assist patients and family members that are experiencing a catastrophic illness or loss to help alleviate some of the financial and emotional stress associated with these life-changing events.

If you'd like to learn more about Can't Hurt Steel and/or make a donation, visit www.canthurtsteelfoundation.org.


Another popular summer run is the Rhulen Rock Hill Run and Ramble (R4). They held a virtual event in June, with runners from all 50 states!

The R4 benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Trevor Loughlin Foundation, which issues grants to patients battling blood cancer and other acute catastrophic illnesses.

In a message to participants on their Facebook page, R4 Race Director Sue Loughlin noted that she missed seeing everyone arrive and all the volunteers. However, she thanked all the volunteers online who spread the word about the race both domestically and globally, saying they helped “put the R4 on the map.”

All race participants wore the bib number 547 this year in honor of Trevor, as that was the bib number he wore in the R4 three weeks before he passed away. In the past year the Trevor Loughlin Foundation issued approximately 40 grants to people in need of them.

Loughlin thanked the community saying, “We could not do what we do without the financial support we receive from you -- our participants -- and especially our sponsors.”

To learn more and/or donate, visit www.rockhillrun.com.


Turtle Trot: The next virtual race on the calendar is the Turtle Trot 5K and 10K, which normally takes place in Kenoza Lake. Proceeds will benefit families struck with catastrophic illnesses. Registration is open until July 31. For info, visit runsignup.com/Race/NY/Jeffersonville/TurtleTrot10Kand5K.

DYC River Run: The 5K/10K River Run in Callicoon is also going virtual. The event, celebrating its 22nd year, raises money for the Delaware Youth Center (DYC), which provides a resource to the local community for educational, recreational, and social events that enhance the quality of life. The official race day is July 18, but participation is open until August 1. Sign up online at raceroster.com/events/2020/27808/delaware-youth-center-river-race.

Allyson Whitney: Registration is now open for the virtual Allyson Whitney Run for Love event. It will remain open until July 22. Lower registration stays open until August 29 for a bag and bib.

The Allyson Whitney Foundation primarily provides young adult cancer patients with ‘Life Interrupted Grants' to ease their financial burden, so that they can concentrate their energy on healing.

They decided to do a Virtual Challenge event beginning Saturday, August 8 and ending on Saturday, August 29. To register, visit http://www.allysonwhitney.org/event/allyson-whitney-5k-2020.

Monster Run: The 42nd Annual Monster Run Classic will once again benefit the Sullivan County Veterans Coalition. Proceeds will help the coalition assist veterans with meals, help getting to hospitals, assistance with bills, etc. Also, this year, race proceeds are being extended to provide scholarships for Monticello and Fallsburg students. During the day of August 2, record your run with your favorite GPS app, and screenshot your entry. To register, visit www.active.com/running/distance-running-virtual-events/the-monster-2020.


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