Walk/Run and Wag Your Tail 5K goes Virtual

Submitted Photo

Reese and Byrdie, along with owner Michael Childers, recently completed their virtual race for the Walk/Run and Wag Your Tail 5K. The proceeds from the event go to the animals at Mandy's Mission Animal Rescue.

Everything is going virtual these days.

Church services are being live-streamed.

Instead of being face-to-face, meetings are being held using teleconferencing technology.

Teachers are communicating with their students via computer or phone.

Ordering from local restaurants is being done by an app or online.

Now, 5K runs are even being held virtually.

The sixth annual Walk/Run and Wag Your Tail 5K will not take place on its original April 11th date in Burnside, but instead, it will be held when it is the most convenient for its runners and walkers.

Due to the spread of COVID-19, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that any event with large crowds should be canceled or postponed. Instead of canceling the annual 3.1-mile run, the organizers for the Walk/Run and Wag Your Tail 5K are offering participants an opportunity to run a 5K and then submit their race time.

It's really simple. Participants can run a 5K anywhere they want to, and then they upload their time to the race website. Runners and walkers who participate in the race will automatically receive ten points to go towards the overall points standings in the Lake Cumberland Run/Walk Series Powered by Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital.

Anyone who signs up for the race will have between now and 6 p.m on April 10th to submit their virtual 5K time. Results will be tabulated and posted on the original race date, April 11th.

Once the spread of COVID-19 has let up, an email will be sent to all race participants about a time and place to pick up a commemorative race t-shirt, according to race director Leslie Coffey. Runners and walkers who sign up between now and March 31st will be guaranteed a t-shirt.

The real winners of this race are the animals at Mandy's Mission Animal Rescue. Proceeds from the race go towards Mandy's Mission, which is a local nonprofit animal rescue organization run by Ellie Grant. Mandy's Mission provides medical care, shelter, and food for animals that are in need.

The recent spread of COVID-19 is affecting people all across the world, but it is also reaching the animals right here in south-central Kentucky. Mandy's Mission has already begun helping animals that have been negatively affected by the virus.

"While COVID-19 is taking away jobs, it is also closing shelters across the nation and leaving many animals without a place to go," said Coffey. "Mandy's Mission has already been stepping in to help, so the funds from this event will help ensure the safety of so many animals who may also find themselves in the destructive path of COVID-19. We extend our sincere thank you to every single person who signs up for the Walk/Run and Wag Your Tail 5K because your support saves so many."

Coffey also encouraged all of the participants to utilize their social media pages and take pictures of their virtual run or walk. The race's web site is https://runsignup.com/Race/KY/Burnside/WalkRunandWagYourTail5K?remMeAttempt=.

"We encourage everyone to post their pictures on their social media page as they complete their walk/run and use hashtags #WalkRunWagYourTail5K and #TeamKentucky," Coffey continued. "Though COVID-19 is taking so much from all of us during this difficult time, we cannot let it steal our joy, so please share those smiling pictures."

Not only has the Walk/Run and Wag Your Tail 5K been affected by the spread of COVID-19. Two other races in the series - the Color Run on the Runway 5K and the SuperHeroes 5K - have moved their dates to later this year. The SuperHeroes 5K will now take place on August 15th, while the Color Run on the Runway 5K will be now held on September 13th.

As of this time, the Over My Head 5K (June 6th) and the Cool Run at Midnight (June 20th) are still scheduled to run on their original dates. Please visit gtraces.com or lakecumberlandrunners.com for more information and the updated calendar for the Lake Cumberland Run/Walk Series Powered by Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital.

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