COVID-19 won’t stop the 2nd Annual YQR Vet Run from continuing next month in Regina, but it will run in a different way.
Derek Anaquod, founder of the YQR Vet Run, said this year’s race will be virtual.
He talked about how a vast majority of races are being cancelled or postponed due to the virus. Anaquod said cancelling the YQR Vet Run was the worst-case scenario, while postponing the race was not an available option.
There were a number of reasons why they are going forward with virtual.
“We want to be able to continuously have awareness and raise funds for veterans,” said Anaquod.
The event is a platform to support those with post-traumatic stress disorder and for residents wanting to support veterans.
In terms of getting t-shirts, bibs and other racer items to runners for those two days, organizers will either send racer packages by mail if they live outside of Regina or will drop them off in mailboxes if they are local addresses.
Race day was initially set for Saturday, April 25; it has since been rescheduled to allow participants to run their distance any time between 7:00 a.m. on April 25 to 7:00 p.m. on April 26. Runners will be encouraged to race around the block, on a grid road or any outdoor location while following physical distancing regulations.
Runners will run their chosen distance – whether that’s two kilometres, five kilometres or a half marathon.
Anaquod said they have also asked participants to track their performance by getting a little creative.
“We’re going to get people to compile information in pictures and videos, and then they can send it to us. Then one week post-race, we’re actually going to have a race video with a mental health message, a thank you to sponsors.”
But for Anaquod, it was important important to keep the race alive and build up excitement over the next few weeks.
“I really want to engage the community and not have them just sit at home and talk about the coronavirus all day,” he shared. “It’ll pass and we’ll get through it.”
There will be 18 trophies handed out and raffles as part of the event. This year’s run will have a cap of 200 runners with only a few spaces left.