Runners participate in the inaugural Donut Dash.

Donut Dash returns in virtual format

This year’s Donut Dash is going virtual — but there are still opportunities for runners to get donuts.

Between now and July 11, registrants can run or walk a five-kilometre, 10-kilometre or half marathon distance and then upload their results online.

All proceeds from the event go to the Gordie Howe Sports Complex to support construction of the new multi-sport centre. Last year, more than $5,000 was raised in the inaugural event.

Those who sign up will receive a race kit in the mail that includes a shirt and race number.

Last year’s race featured donuts at water stations and at the post-race food tent. To make sure runners get their donut fix in this virtual event, all participants will receive a gift card to Tim Hortons in their race kit so they can grab a drink and donut after their race.

Because of restrictions in place because of COVID-19, large gatherings are prohibited for the foreseeable future. Donut Dash race director Edda Galbraith said organizers knew they couldn’t proceed as planned this year, but they chose to get creative rather than cancel the event.

“Our focus is fundraising, but also in this weird year we wanted to bring something to the community that brings us together apart,” she said.

Closures of fitness facilities and recreation and entertainment venues because of COVID-19 have meant many people have recently turned to running or walking as a way to stay fit and have fun.

Galbraith said the virtual Donut Dash could be a fun goal for some of these first-time runners and she’s coaching a virtual run clinic through a Facebook group to help people prepare.

She says she enjoys watching everyone’s progress on the Facebook page, including seeing the photos people post of themselves after completing the suggested workouts.

“It kind of helps for everybody to see that people are doing that and then other people may be more motivated to do it as well,” Galbraith says.

Sign up for the event here.

For tips on how to make the most of your virtual race experience, check out this piece on the Brainsport blog.