Training for a 5k Through a Pandemic

Big River has been offering a 5k training program for beginners – START 5k – for six years now and this spring was the first time we offered the program for free! We had more than 200 people signed up to participate and were off to a great “start” in early March. After just a few group training runs, the world changed and we had to move to a virtual format. Support via email and social media isn’t the same as in-person, but we’d do our best.

Through a pandemic, these determined individuals took a step towards achieving a goal and getting in shape. They moved forward. They tried something new or re-tried something they hadn’t in a while. They took a risk. Maybe it wasn’t the right time for some of them. We all know that new challenges had been thrown our way since the program started. But for some participants, this was the perfect time. During stay-at-home orders one of the only outdoor activities we were allowed to do was walk and run. And our START 5k participants did! Even though it was hard. We are so inspired by these runners.

A few feel-good quotes from participants:

“My very first 5k checked off my bucket list. Thank you Big River Running Company, the great coaches and everyone in this motivating group. As I was running, I was reminded that this is truly what it means to trust the process. This is a remarkable milestone for me and I am so proud of myself. I am a runner.” 

“I am so proud. As someone who has never been an athlete (though I always wanted to be) because of lack of confidence, I  am so grateful to this running community for being so welcoming and supportive. The START 5k program and other runners on the trail smiling and waving got me through this 5k NON-STOP RUNNING.”

We are inspired by our START 5k and ALL runners and walkers who took a step forward during this pandemic, maybe for the first time or the first time in a long time. This is the beginning of an incredible journey. Thanks for lifting us up!