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Willow Creek Wilderness Walk Run to resume virtually

The 2021 Willow Creek Wilderness Walk Run will be held virtually due to public health restrictions for the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)

Taking its cue from a pandemic that keeps people apart, the 2021 Willow Creek Wilderness Walk Run will be done virtually.

The 2020 version of Fort Macleod’s five- and 10-kilometre walk and run was cancelled by the pandemic and the organizing committee didn’t want a repeat.

“We put it on pause last year because of COVID,” race director Kathleen Van Herk said Friday. “We decided to try doing a virtual race this year.”

Participants will complete their five- or 10-kilometre walk or run on May 29 and send a video or photo of their app showing they completed it to organizers as confirmation.

Since it was established in 2013, one of the goals of the Willow Creek Wilderness Walk Run is to raise money in support of community groups and projects.

Proceeds from the event will go to the outdoor play area being developed at F.P. Walshe school.

(File photo)

Past recipients of donations from the event are the Fort Macleod Santa Claus Parade, M.A.E. Belles, Empress Theatre Society, Fort Macleod Playground Committee and Fort Macleod Community Initiatives Group, and  child skate trainers for the Fort Macleod and District Sports Centre.

The organizing committee is hopeful the Willow Creek Wilderness Walk Run can find the momentum it had prior to last year’s pause.

“Every year it got a little bit bigger and a little bit bigger as people were knowing about this race,” Van Herk said. “That’s the thing about the race community, is people start getting familiar with races.”

“We’re hoping to keep that momentum going really. Right now, especially with COVID to emphasize community and the importance of being active.”

The virtual nature of the walk-run opens the door for people from across the world to take part. The committee is considering some way to recognize the person from farthest away from Fort Macleod who participates.

“Most of the other big runs have done virtuals and they seem to have people coming out,” Van Herk said. “It is a community event so we’re hoping people sign up for it.”

Participants can complete the run or walk distance wherever they want, including on a treadmill.

The organizing committee is hopeful that by staging the event, people will be inspired to train for it and be active through the pandemic.

Participants will be able to pick up a race package that includes a run-walk T-shirt prior to May 29, or have it mailed to them.

The organizing committee includes Van Herk, Denise Joel, Joella Bevan, Chris Adamiak, Brendan Grant and Stasha Donahue.

“We hope for the future that we can go back to being able to hold it in person,” Van Herk said.

For information call Kathleen Van Herk at 403-634-0115 of find the Willow Creek Wilderness Walk Run on Facebook.

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