STRIDE Adaptive Sports 'Adapts' to COVID-19 Crisis with Virtual Summer Fitness Event
Starting now and hitting the finish line on June 20th, STRIDE Adaptive Sports is helping people around the Capital Region to stride toward an empowering response to the COVID-19 crisis. According to STRIDE founder and CEO, Mary Ellen Whitney, the organization will be holding a virtual event where both people with disabilities and the able-bodied can run, walk, or roll their way toward fitness and health while social distancing. As Whitney explains, people can choose a “Competitive 5k” option where they run at a local track of their choice and submit their times against other remote competitors, or a “Casual Run, Walk ‘n Roll” registration where participation and a positive attitude are the name of the game.
The event, which is being called Virtual Strides 4 STRIDE, also includes an 8 week preparatory session and support group held online through the Strava running site and STRIDE’s Facebook page. Participants can maintain a sense of community safely online while continuing to flatten the curve with social distancing. The group is being led by Megan Evans, STRIDE’s Program Director, who is also sharing her personal fitness journey and goals after having a child. Registration for the event is $25.00 now, and $30.00 after May 15. You can register for the event at https://www.stride.org , and the site also has more information on the event including an FAQ section.
“The STRIDE Creed that we teach our athletes emphasizes staying positive and having a can-do attitude,” said Whitney. “We are trying to practice what we preach as an organization by ‘adapting’ our annual summer 5k event at Jennings Landing into a virtual event. We want to cultivate the message that life doesn’t have to stop just because of social distancing. We expect hundreds of people from around the Capital Region will be joining us, and we already have registrants from out of state also, so this should be a wonderful new experience and learning opportunity. We have some great corporate sponsors who have stuck with us in these challenging times to help get the new event format off the ground, and we are so thankful for this outpouring of community support.”
Megan Evans, STRIDE’s Program Director, added on the importance of this event to the children with disabilities and combat-injured veterans that STRIDE serves. “It is difficult enough for people with disabilities to get the same opportunities for exercise, sport, and recreation that the able-bodied take for granted. That’s why STRIDE exists. So the COVID crisis and social distancing has made it extra difficult, and it has disrupted the daily routine that many of our participants rely on. This event is about returning as close to normalcy as we can, and celebrating all the positive things we still have in life. We’re giving registrants the chance to create a personal fundraising page to make a positive difference for others as well. 10% of the funds will go to The Food Pantries of the Capital District to provide food for families struggling financially during these unprecedented times. The remainder of the funds will be used to help adapt the rest of STRIDE’s athletic programs into a virtual format so we can keep serving this vitally important, underserved population.”
The event is generously sponsored by the following Capital Region businesses:
- AllSquare Wealth Management – Presenting Sponsor
- American National Insurance Company – Gold Sponsor
- NPA Financial – Silver Sponsor
- Hannaford – Silver Sponsor
- DeCrescente Distributors – Bronze Sponsor
- Rust-Oleum – Bronze Sponsor
- Phillips Hardware - Supporting Sponsor