Rockin’ on the Run is going virtual

Analiese Carter is all smiles as she crosses the finish line and collects her medal at last year’s Rockin’ on the Run. This year’s event is going virtual and will take place in October.

(Posted June 15, 2020)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Rockin’ on the Run is going virtual.

The annual event, which takes place in London and benefits pediatric brain tumor research, was originally set to take place on May 16. Traditionally, the event includes one-mile and 5-kilometer walk/run options, children’s activities, and a huge silent auction. Last year, 519 people participated in the walk/run.

Due to restrictions and uncertainty regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, organizers have opted for a different approach this year.

Now, those who wish to support the cause can sign up to do so virtually. Registration options include a one-miler, 5K, or t-shirt only. Participants are asked to complete the distances on their own between Oct. 2 and Oct. 11, and they have the option to turn in their times.

“The unique benefit of a virtual race is that you get to pick when it is convenient for you to walk or run–or ride your bike, roll on some skates, walk on the treadmill in the AC, stroll with your pups,” said Ashley Winebrenner, Rockin’ on the Run vice president.

Each registered participant will receive a custom-designed t-shirt. Those who register before Sept. 13 will receive their shirts before race week. Shirts can be delivered by mail or picked up in person at drive-up locations in London and Columbus closer to the time of the event. The first 500 registrants are guaranteed a finisher’s medal.

“We’re sad that we can’t all be together, but we’re excited because anyone anywhere can register and participate,” Winebrenner said.

Last year, the event featured 200 silent auction baskets. This year, organizers had already collected several auction items before they decided to go virtual–Yard Jenga, King’s Island tickets, tavern tour packages, pro football memorabilia, gift cards from local merchants and more. They are looking at turning those items into incentives. The idea is to post the items on social media and give participants chances to win the items for liking, commenting on or sharing the posts.

“It’s a way to get the word around and get more participation,” Winebrenner said.

Since its inception in 2010, Rockin’ on the Run has raised $175,900 for pediatric brain tumor research and awareness. Last year, the non-profit donated $33,500 to Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

“We didn’t want to take a year off,” Winebrenner said about the decision whether to hold this year’s event. “Everything has been about COVID, but we still have kids being diagnosed with brain tumors. Not doing anything never was an option for us.”

Visit www.rockinontherun.org, check out the event’s social media pages, or call (740) 490-2531 for more information.

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