Rob Richard makes a run past City Hall and down Main Street in preparation for his Will Run for Food campaign last year.

by Dave Warner

Someone like Rob Richard just can’t sit around his house, and he realizes that a lot of the other people who are like him – runners, are seeing lots of their races canceled.

Richard said, “we know this is a small inconvenience compared to the health and economic concerns in the world.” But for him, he had to figure out something to do.

So, he created a Social Distance Virtual 5k run, which is going to happen from March 30th through April 11th to raise money for the Little Falls Food Pantry, one of Richard’s favorite charities. “The Food Pantry is a vital service for the community and the Rock City Runners (RCR) have supported it in the past. We want to do what we can to make sure the Pantry is ready for the weeks and months ahead,” he stated.

He feels that people right now want to “do” something, and this situation, with its necessary distancing, can feel lonely and sort of helpless. Richard said, “this gives us a way for runners to help, to do the thing we love, and to have a kind of ‘race’ all at the same time.”

Richard says that it’s important to try to recreate some of your normal life in your isolation. “The name of the race is obviously (I hope) a play on words involving the concept of ‘distance’.”

Here’s how the Social Distance 5k works: On any day between Monday, March 30th and Saturday, April 11th, run a 5k BY YOURSELF in the location of your choosing. You should NOT be running with others when you do this.

The registration money ($10) will be used to support the Little Falls Food Pantry, which is receiving many requests for food and ramping up to be able to provide more in the future.

Tony DeLuca, Executive Director of the YMCA, which the Food Pantry falls under said, “This will not only help the Pantry continue to provide food to those members of our community experiencing food insecurity but addresses many other community-based needs during these challenging times.”

Richard states, “Obviously, we won’t all be running the same course, so that part isn’t ‘fair.’ This isn’t about winning a race, but instead about being able to get out, run hard, and do good. Anyone completing the competition will be placed in a drawing to receive some RCR swag.

To find out more about the race and to register, you can click here. Richard said, “Even if you’re not a runner, you can donate by scrolling to the bottom of the race website and selecting ‘Donate’.

To date, they have already collected more than $600 in registration fees and donations.