The City of Salem, along with corporate sponsors LewisGale, Virginia’s Blue Ridge and G&H Contracting, announced this afternoon that the Salem Half Marathon, 8K race and Kids Fun Runs are going virtual this year. That means runners will have 16 days to run their respective event, post a time and compete for top placement in the various age groups.
“Our intention all along was to stage the races as we normally do throughout the streets of Salem, but as we all know by now, there is nothing normal about 2020,” says Salem Parks and Recreation Director, John Shaner. “With so much continued uncertainty, the virtual option will allow us to provide runners and citizens with the safest possible options.”
Virtual participants will have until October 18 to register online for their specific event and complete the corresponding distance on their own course.
“From the start, our mission has been to get people moving and that has never been more important than it is right now,” says Assistant Race Director, Ashley Durkin. “We’re looking forward to engaging with the runners virtually through the RaceJoy app while still offering some perks of race day including finish line photos, a Chick-fil-A sandwich, and a free beverage from Olde Salem Brewing Company for all racers over 21.”
Salem has been leading Virginia’s Blue Ridge region in safe event presentation since the pandemic hit in March. Socially distant concerts and drive-in movies have complimented the many ultra-sanitized softball tournaments the city has hosted in the past six months. These events have given convenience stores, restaurants, hotels, and other retail establishments throughout the valley a much-needed economic boost.
“We are thrilled that we have been able to provide as much recreation and entertainment as we have this year, especially with all of the restrictions,” says Shaner. “Taking the half marathon races virtual will allow us to provide another unique opportunity without creating a burden on the many city departments and residents we rely on heavily to make these first-class events.”
Complete information on the LewisGale Salem Half Marathon, Virginia’s Blue Ridge 8k and G&H Contracting Kids Fun Runs is available at this link RUN SALEM