Three Ways to Plan Your Virtual Run

During the weekend of Oct. 23-25, North Texans will have the opportunity to strap on their running (or walking) shoes and help the North Texas Food Bank provide nutritious meals to our neighbors experiencing hunger.

Registration is still open for the Food Bank’s upcoming OutRun Hunger Virtual 5K, presented by Reliant, the organization’s first-ever charity run. While our inaugural run is a little nontraditional due to continuing safety precautions with the pandemic, a virtual run provides many opportunities to make the event your own! Whether you are a novice runner or an experienced athlete, below are three ways to plan and enjoy your virtual 5K.

  1. Get the whole family involved. We are keeping our run virtual to avoid crowds and mitigate risk for the spread of COVID-19, but we know that the community feel and the camaraderie with fellow participants is a significant part of the race experience. If this is important to you, get all the members of your household involved. Charitable races are wonderful for all ages – there is no need to be a regular runner or athlete to participate. Get little kids involved and make it an adventure – what can you find or spot in 3.1 miles in your neighborhood? You don’t need a lot of fanfare or people to make this a special and social experience.
  • Set a goal time and create incentives. That said, maybe you like the fanfare! Whether you are the competitive type (with yourself or with others) or just like a target to focus on, set a goal for your finish time to work toward. A personal best in a virtual run is no less of an accomplishment than in an in-person event. If you are with a small group, make up prizes for the fastest times or draw your own race bibs. If you need some extra motivation, the North Texas Food Bank will have prizes for the fastest times in both adult and youth age groups.
  • Plan your run and do it wherever (and whenever) it makes you happy. Not a fan of those early morning race start-times? Feel more energized when you are running by water (or on your treadmill) than through city streets? With a virtual run, you set the race conditions! Take some time in advance to plan your course and choose your favorite spot for your run. If you are pursuing a time goal, be sure the location you choose is compatible with those goals (for example, there isn’t construction taking place on the route). If you just want to be outside taking in the beautiful fall weather, go wherever makes you happy and soak it in.

To help you with all of this, when you sign up for the OutRun Hunger Virtual 5K, you will receive access to the JustMove app, which you can use to track your time, map your run, hear messages from NTFB President & CEO Trisha Cunningham, and more. It’s a great way to not only plan your run, but to connect with the purpose of what you are running/walking for – to support the Food Bank’s mission of providing hunger relief to our struggling neighbors, especially during this time of increased need.

You can learn more about the Virtual 5K and sign up here: Grab those running shoes, dust them off (if need be), and help us outrun hunger across North Texas. It might be virtual, but we are cheering you on!

Caryn Berardi is a Communications Specialist for the North Texas Food Bank.