Last week I saw a Facebook post about a virtual run/walk/ride/swim event to help benefit hunger relief efforts in our region.
The event is being presented by Together for Hope Appalachia. They are described on their website as a “rural development coalition which follows the practice of asset-based community development, believing that the key to alleviating poverty in these rural areas already exists with the people who are there.”
Keith Stillwell is the event coordinator. He lives in Danville and explained to me in a phone interview that the main goal is to help raise money for food banks, including banks that operate in our immediate area here in the tri-counties. The fact that this is a virtual event is due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
So, how does a virtual run/walk/ride/swim work? Well, Stillwell explained that anyone interested can go online to www.runsignup.com and find the registration page. From there, you submit your info and pay the entry fee of $30. You will have a couple of different options – a 140.6-mile run, ride and swim triathlon or a 50-mile hike/walk/run.
After you make your selection, you will then be able to track your progress between when you sign up and when the event ends on July 31.
There are online tools to help participants track their miles, and a special Facebook page has been set up so folks can post photos and encourage each other along the way.
All money raised will go directly to Scarlette Jasper, Director of Olive Branch Ministries, who will oversee the distribution of the funds to food banks all over Appalachia.
But knowing you have contributed to a worthy cause will not be the only incentive here, as all participants will also receive a sweet t-shirt as well.
As of this past weekend, there were just under 60 people who had signed up to take part in this inaugural fundraising event. Of those participants, six were listed as being from Corbin. Those individuals are Sandi Curd, Katie House, Lindsay Lowe, Elizabeth Reese, Paul Sims and Alice Tremaine.
I reached out to Lowe, a personal friend of mine, who told me she plans to get her miles in by walking at the Corbin High School track before going into work each day.
Tremaine said she is about halfway through her goal of running 50 miles, and she knows of others who have chosen to either bike and/or swim.
Anyone who would like to join in on the fun, get some exercise and help our local food banks all at the same time has until June 15 to sign up online. Stillwell said everyone is welcome, and he would love to see at least 75 people sign up before the deadline.
I think this sounds like a great idea, and I would hope that plans are already in place to make it a yearly thing. Best of luck to all who are involved, and an extra-special shoutout to everyone from our local area!