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Have you ever wanted to race with Kilian Jornet, while raising money for the World Health Organization (WHO) to help fight against COVID-19?
Here’s your chance! On Saturday, April 4th, Irunfar.com is hosting “Operation Inspiration,” a virtual race that will bring together runners from all over the globe to run in solidarity. All you have to do to enter is pay an entry fee, and exercise for an hour.
The race entry is a sliding fee from $20 to $250 to accommodate as many runners as possible. 100-percent of your entry fee will go to WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. So far, over 900 runners from 33 countries and 47 states have raised over $27,000 for WHO.
You can register, here. Runners who sign up become eligible for over 140 prizes that will be distributed in the days after the virtual race. Powerhouse runners like Kilian Jornet, Emelie Forsberg, Sage Canaday, Sandi Nypaver, Sally McRae, Maggie Guterl, Lucy Bartholomew, Dean Karnazes, Tim Tollefson, Devon Yanko and Anna Frost are among those registered for the virtual event.
To compete, you simply need to exercise for one hour on Saturday. Depending on local regulations, this might mean an outdoor run or an in-your-home workout. Whatever you can safely do for 60 minutes while practicing good trail stewardship and social distancing is fair game.
Irunfar.com’s Bryon Powell says that he and his partner and co-editor Meghan Hicks were inspired by how the trail-running community was coming together in the face of crisis and wanted their online community to play a part.
“We reflected on iRunFar’s dual mission–to inspire and to inform–and resolved to help meet that inspirational goal head-on during these challenging times,” he says. “So, we created the Operation Inspiration, with the virtual race being one part of it.”
After creating their own virtual race, Powell says they were further encouraged by the success of the #YoCorroEnCasa event based in Spain, which raised 85,000 Euros in solidarity with those who are forced to work out in their homes. Brands that have put aside their own manufacturing in order to produce masks and medical personal protective equipment have also been a source of positivity for Irunfar.com.
Powell says the hopes that participants in the virtual race gain a sense of community and connection from the experience, “that–globally and locally–we’re communities that are extremely powerful forces for personal mental and physical well being as well as larger-scale good. That we’re resilient and can enjoy running or working out without group runs or races, at least for some time.”