Ohio Strong: Run these virtual races and help local food banks

Despite the cancellation of many 5Ks and other races due to fears over the spread of the coronavirus, many local running companies are still offering virtual ways to remain active.

USA Race Timing and Event Management, a race-timing small business based in Columbus, is now offering runners the option of beating their personal bests from home — all while supporting a worthy cause. The Ohio Strong Virtual Races series, taking place until May 31, features an assortment of different races to be completed on your own.

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Runners will have the option of completing one of the following races: one mile; 5K (3.1 miles); quarter marathon (6.55 miles); half marathon (13.1 miles); marathon (26.2 miles); 50K (31mi) or 100K (62.1 miles).

Apart from providing a way for Ohioans to stay active while maintaining an appropriate physical distance, USA Race Timing and Event Management is also encouraging participants to donate to one (or more) of 12 regional food banks that make up the Ohio Association of Foodbanks. Registration for the virtual races is free and there are no processing fees.

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"We want to help," said USA Race Timing and Event Management fundraising director Ashley Burwell in a press release. "Like many small businesses, we were frantic as we realized that the social distancing necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19 would cancel the many races we had scheduled for the spring and summer months. People can run their own virtual race, but more importantly, we can help raise the much needed funds for our food banks throughout the state of Ohio.”

Along with donating directly to the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, participants can also donate to the food banks by purchasing Ohio Strong Virtual Races swag, including shirts and hoodies. Additionally, all Dayton Strong merchandise sold on their website goes directly to funding future races put on by USA Race Timing and Event Management.

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"We're hoping participants will make a donation to the Ohio Association of Foodbanks since there are no fees to participate," said Burwell. "One hundred percent of all fundraising, donations, and a portion of the proceeds from the sales of the Ohio Strong Virtual Races swag will benefit the Ohio Association of Foodbanks.”

After you've completed your virtual race, be sure to use their mobile app, ItsYourRace, to submit your finish time. The app will track your running distance and finish time in order to enter your time directly into results. The rankings from these postings are calculated immediately. Participants are also encouraged to share photos and stories of their runs on USA Race Timing and Event Management's Facebook page.  All finish times must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on May 31 to be included in the results and be eligible to be entered into the Ohio Strong Virtual Races raffle.

Whether or not you're participating in the virtual race series, you can donate directly to the Ohio Association of Foodbanks by visiting ohiofoodbanks.org. The Second Harvest Food Bank of Clark, Champaign & Logan Counties and The Foodbank, Inc., are the food banks located within the Miami Valley.

Register for the virtual race series by paying a visit to usaracetiming.com.


What: Ohio Strong Virtual Races series by USA Race Timing and Event Management

Where: Anywhere

When: Series running until May 31

Cost: Free

More info: WebsiteFacebook

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