VU Recreational Sports has started an intramural (IM) virtual 5K in order to provide the Valpo community with a fun and safe way to stay active. Registration is currently available until Oct. 25, and is completely free and is open to any students, faculty or staff who are interested.
This year, Valpo IM has conducted numerous events that were both exciting and socially-distanced, including the virtual 5K.
“So what we tried to do is really cater to what we do to make things still fun but safe within COVID-19 guidelines, so that’s why we have different sports, such as the sand volleyball league and kickball and softball, where we can still keep people pretty physical distanced, still wear face coverings and still have some fun, and keep it as normal as possible,” Tristan Leonard, director of Recreational Sports, said.
For those unaware, a virtual 5K is quite different from a regular 5K or marathon. Runners and walkers get to do it by themselves and choose their own routes and times, based on their preference.
“I think that’s the beauty of the virtual 5K: it can be done anywhere. If a person wants to run outdoors, they can find their own route. If they want to run indoors, on a treadmill, they can take a screenshot of the treadmill itself. That’s why it’s kind of a nice, simple, event, because people can do it wherever, whenever they want,” Leonhard said.
The only rules required by IM for this event is that participants send pictures of their times and do a minimum of three runs/walks.
“Essentially, it’s just one month to run as many times as a person wants,” Leonhard said.
Competitors in the virtual 5K have found it as a great way to get exercise and start off the day.
“My friend actually told me about it and we just thought it would be fun to wake up in the morning and get like, a walk or a run in to stay healthy,” Cara McGovern, Class of 2024, said.
For others, it gives them a chance to take a break from all the stress in life.
“It gives a break from my day. I have a lot of school, so I feel like, personally, I get really stressed that way, so it’s just a thing I can do for fun,” Danielle Renno, Class of 2024, said.
If the event is deemed successful, it could be something that could continue into future years, hopefully non-pandemic applying.
“With some of our events where we have a specific time and place for people to get to, you miss a subset of students who can’t make it,” Leonhard said. “The beauty with this one is that any time in that 30 days, people can get out and do the event, so it’s definitely something we could do again.”
After registration closes on Oct. 25, winners will be announced and prizes will be awarded for three categories: Most 5K’s Completed, Fastest Time, and Most Improved. Registration is available at imleagues.com for those interested.