Carolina For The Kids, a student-run organization supporting UNC Children's Hospital, is holding its annual fundraiser race virtually this semester.
The race, called Kilometers For The Kids, will take place Oct. 9 through Oct. 11 and allows participants the option of choosing a 5K, a 10K or a 1-mile fun run. Participants can complete the run over the weekend on their own time and log their time online.
For more information and to register, you can visit the Kilometers for the Kids website.
CFTK Operations Chairperson and senior Lauren Harrell said the range of people who have registered for the event spans 20 states and even Canada.
The asynchronous and remote format of the run may not be traditional, but CFTK Public Relations Chairperson and senior Cheryl Phillips said she hopes it will make the race more accessible.
"This way, we can let students and families run from wherever they may be living during this semester and protect everyone's health and safety while still having a great time and raising money for the patients we support," Phillips said.
She also said that this year, people can get their friends and family who may live elsewhere to participate without having to make a long drive.
Emily Arnold, a UNC alumna, said she is planning on participating in the virtual race.
"Obviously, a downside of a virtual event is that you don't get to see everyone and experience the race day atmosphere, but I think a great upside is that CFTK can reach more people, because they can run from anywhere," Arnold said.
Phillips said she will miss the upbeat environment that takes place at the in-person charity event.
"On the downside, we will miss getting to see everyone cross the finish line and all the fun conversation beforehand," she said.
While the event is going to be different than in past years, the goal remains the same. In line with CFTK's mission, the event will support patients and families of UNC Children's Hospital.
Harrell said that children and families may need more help because of COVID-19.
"This year is not like any other,” she said. “However, children are still getting sick and being hospitalized. It is clear that these families need our support now more than ever.”
Arnold said she is excited to be a part of the event because she is passionate about the cause.
"I chose to participate because it's for a great cause, and I love that CFTK found a way to continue to help the patients and families even during COVID,” she said.
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