Coronavirus makes Race for the Cure virtual, allowing for additional participants


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Another major event was forced to make big changes due to the coronavirus.

The local Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is going to look a lot different this year.

“So we waited and waited because we all want to be together on October 31, but when decisions were made, we knew that we had to do the right thing for our community, and so that’s where we came up with, instead of racing together, we’re gonna race where you are,” said Elaine Hare, CEO of Susan G. Komen Memphis Mid-South Mississippi.

The race is going virtual this year. Runners track their own progress with a mobile app.

“There’s going to be this step tracker in the mobile app, so people can still go walk their three miles or run their 5k or do their family fun, and then we will be spreading out the photos that everyone sends us throughout our social media,” Hare said.

Longtime runner Edith Kelly Green has participated in several Race for the Cures and virtual races. 

She said with COVID-19, plenty has changed.

“Early on, we saw nothing, all the races just got canceled and stopped, and then people start figuring out, what we can do, virtual races, because I don’t think anybody felt comfortable running thousands of people or hundreds of people and being that close to them,” Kelly Green said.

As a breast cancer survivor, the Race for the Cure is close to her heart.

She believes virtual can still work.

“You do know that you’re being timed still, and you’ve got to put in your time, and so there’s still that sense of competition, kind of pressure to run your fastest to do your best,” Kelly Green said.

The Susan G. Komen organizers are also hoping people who may have never raced before will get a chance now.

“Our service area goes all the way up to the Missouri boot heel, all the way down to the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” Hare said. “So we are hoping people in Columbus, Mississippi, who couldn’t, due to a lot of reasons, be here on race day can now join us.”

The local race funds health care for local breast cancer survivors.

“We get several calls every week, so while the need has gone up, the available funds are needed more than ever,” Hare said.

Right now, early bird registration is only $18.

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