The virtual Vertical Slam Ultimate Challenge got underway Monday, June 1.
From now until June 15, people will be able to register and participate in a virtual run, with proceeds going to the school district's Hot Meals Program.
There are three distances to choose from — 5km, 10km, and 21km. For the first time, participants can also choose to do other kinds of physical activity for the same amount of time it would take to run their chosen distance: 30 minutes for 5km, one hour for 10km, and two hours for 21km. Options include walking, a rowing machine, biking, or even walking around with a weighted vest.
More than 100 people have registered and organizer Laurie Cardinal has been very pleased with how things have turned out so far.
"It's going amazing," Cardinal said. "Having a virtual run has allowed us to open it up to other people who want to support the cause but may not be the best runner. It's also allowed us to have people participate from outside of town, and people from places like Victoria and Grande Praire are participating."
If you haven't registed yet but would like to, go here.
You will be given a bib number, and Cardinal is encouraging everyone to make their own bib, using the number given, and to decorate it in a fun and personal way. Once you have completed your run or physical activity, post a selfie of you with your bib to the Vertical Slam's Facebook page.
Kehlan Huhn was the first participant to complete his Vertical Slam Ultimate Challenge. He wore a 45-pound weighted vest for eight hours during his work day, covering 10.7km of ground.
During the same time, Vertical Slam is also hosting the Sadownik Memorial Run/Hike in honour of the late Steve and Nicole Sadownik.
Though the two events are similar, the Sadownik Memorial is a run, hike or walk for a period of one to 12 hours. Registration will be done the same way, as will submitting your run and time. Proceeds will go towards food gift cards for patients at the Fort St. John Hospital cancer unit.
"We've had people sign up for both causes but do one run, and that's an option they can do. Our main focus is to make these events as successful as they can be, and we understand everyone has their own time restrictions to work around," Cardinal said.
Last year's Vertical Slam had 180 participants. Cardinal feels 100 (and counting) for the virtual event is great, all things considered.
Another aspect of the two events Cardinal is proud of is their ability to get people outside and taking part in phsyical activity and recreation at a time when many recreation facilities and events have been closed or cancelled.
"It's very important to be able to do this because it's a fun event," said Cardinal. "You can interact with your family or bubble friends in a safe way, and for mental health specifically it's more important than ever to get out of the house.
"We're very fortunate to live in the part of the country where nature is 10 minutes away and we can easily and safely experience it."
Email Dillon Giancola at firstname.lastname@example.org.