For York’s first virtual Fun Run, students and teachers submitted pictures of themselves participating in the marathon on Oct. 24 and 25, ultimately raising $400 for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
York Student Council held a virtual “Fun Run” where students, teachers, or any other community members interested could sign up for two dollars online per person, or five dollars per family, and purchase a shirt for five dollars. Instead of holding the marathon in person, participants were able to submit pictures of themselves running, walking, or biking to @york_stuco on Instagram. All proceeds were donated to help aid the fight against COVID-19.
“The proceeds from this Fun-Run run are going directly to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, which was voted on by the student body and works with the World Health Organization and various hospitals to provide PPE for front-line workers and fund research for a vaccine,” Student Council member who helped organize the event, junior Erin Lindgren said. “We had a total of 112 participants and raised $381, but Student Council is rounding up, so we’ll donate $400.”
Student Council ran into some issues organizing the event due to its virtual nature. Beyond just the logistics of holding a marathon online, they also needed to focus on advertising. In normal school years, students would learn about upcoming events by watching YTV second period. This isn’t the case this year, so many students may have been unaware of the Fun Run.
“I think the biggest challenge with doing a virtual Fun Run is that many people don’t know how it works, so it took more effort to get the word out,” Lindgren said.
Regardless of any setbacks spreading the word, many people still participated. Because the weekend was a chilly one, runners bundled up before taking part.
“The weather on Saturday, Oct. 24 was perfect for running,” junior Madeline Fine said. “It was in the low 60s Fahrenheit, with the sun intermittently peaking out: perfect weather for a brisk jog!”
Both students and community members found time to exercise for the cause. The event was open to anybody who wanted to help those affected by COVID-19. Many staff members participated as well. Families were also encouraged to join in with a cheaper price per-person with the family option.
“Our family had already signed up to do a fun run for our daughter’s elementary school, so we donated to York’s great cause and got a two-for-one on our run,” York librarian Erica Drumm said. “There’s definitely been a lot more snacking and sitting in the current educational context so it felt good to lace up our sneakers and get outside on a gorgeous fall day.”
One unique aspect of the Fun Run compared to other marathons was that participants could take different routes and go at their own pace. People participating were encouraged to run either five kilometers or one mile, but they were given the whole two day period to do so.
“Our 6 year old picked the soundtrack to our run – music from Trolls World Tour and The Greatest Showmen kept us moving,” Drumm said. “She wanted to stop for a breather after each quarter-mile and Mr. Drumm and I were happy to oblige, but we did sprint at the very end.”
Now, Student Council will be donating all proceeds to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. It’s unclear if another virtual fundraiser like this will need to take place in the future, but the precedent has now been set.
“The event was convenient and fitting for the COVID situation, as individuals could socially distance and still participate,” Fine said. “The family option was really nice at $5 per family or $2 per individual, and I loved that the donation was for a prevalent cause.”