The 2020 Donate Life Family Fun Run is shaping up to be the most unique Fun Run yet. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be able to host this event in-person and instead opted to make this year’s race completely virtual. While we are sad that we won’t get to see everyone’s faces, we hope that the virtual nature of the event will mean that supporters far and wide will have the opportunity to run or walk in support of organ, eye, and tissue donation.
Read on for our list of ten reasons to sign up for this virtual event. Be sure to leave a comment shouting out what you are looking forward to most below!
1. The Flexibility
The Donate Life Family Fun Run traditionally takes place on an early Saturday morning at Camden Yards Sports Complex in Baltimore, MD. We absolutely love seeing the over 3,000 attendees come out in support of donation, but like any event, the ability to attend can be affected by many factors like proximity, previous engagements, transportation, etc. Despite having the option to attend virtually the past few years, we’ve regretted that some of our supporters who do not live close to Baltimore have had difficulty attending or been unable to attend in person.
But not this year! The nice thing about a virtual race is that you can run or walk any distance, anywhere, at any time. We especially encourage you to get out into your community wearing your Fun Run t-shirt and let people know what you are doing and why. We hope you’ll share on social media as well and start the conversation there!
2. It’s Free!
Registering for this year’s virtual event is completely FREE! As in ZERO dollars! Showing your support has never been easier; just log on to www.donatelifefunrun.org and complete your free registration.
If would like to and are able, we encourage you to purchase this year’s official race t-shirt and make an additional donation. All proceeds go to fund The LLF’s community outreach, education, and aftercare programs.
3. The Giveaways
We’ve got a very special giveaway for race weekend this year: a limited edition 20 oz. Yeti Tumbler! There are ONLY five of these, and we will be raffling them off virtually throughout the whole race weekend. But you MUST be registered for the race to win! Make sure to keep an eye on our social media September 26–28 when we will announce the winners!
4. The Exercise & Endorphins
Let’s get those endorphins flowing! Walking and running are proven stress relievers and help release endorphins that make you feel happy and healthy. Especially in today’s world of social distancing, where you may not be going out as much, taking a daily walk or run can be a great way to help you feel better. We are disappointed that we won’t be able to walk together but knowing that we’ll have thousands of people walking for our cause out in their communities makes it all worth it.
5. The Swag
We pride ourselves on making sure our race swag is top of the line. The Fun Run t-shirts are of course always a favorite and you can choose to purchase one along with your free registration. Not enough? We’ve got a great giveaway (see #3!) and some awards up for grabs this year! Compete to be a top finisher in our 5K race, participate in our Spirit Awards, or recruit the largest team, and you might earn one of our award plaques! More details on our awards here.
6. The People
We are so grateful to everyone who signs up for the race in support of organ, eye, and tissue donation. Last year, we achieved our goal of one person running/walking for every one person waiting for a transplant in Maryland; over 3,000 participants! We were joined by transplant recipients, donor family members and friends, recipient family and friends, waitlist candidates, medical professionals, donation supporters, runners, and so many others from our community!
Our hope is to continue growing that number now that the event is not limited by location. We miss seeing everyone in person, but that does not change the fact that the people are one of the most important aspects of this event. As the largest gathering in support of organ, eye, and tissue donation in the state, it is humbling to see so many people come together for our cause.
7. The (Virtual) Venue – The Live Stream
If you are anything like us, you have probably spent the last few months getting intimately familiar with platforms ilke Zoom, Google Meet, Facebook Live, and more. We will be hosting a very special online presentation to kick off the event starting at 9 AM EST on Saturday, Sept. 26. You’ll hear from our CEO, Charlie Alexander, as well as hear stories from transplant recipients and donor families. We will share dedication signs in honor and support of people impacted by donation and transplantation. We will highlight the many reasons people walk and run in support of donation and transplantation. We’ll take a look at some of the beautiful customized t-shirts from participants in honor of their loved ones (submit your t-shirt here!). And we will have a fun warm-up and National Anthem performance by our staff choir before everyone goes into their own neighborhoods to walk or run for this cause!
8. The Stories
Every year, we witness touching moments of people paying tribute to the wonderful gifts that organ, eye, tissue, and in-spirit donors have given. This year will be no different! From a special “Why I Walk | Why I Run” video to listening to the personal stories of people impacted by donation and transplantation, we hope to share some of the many examples of reasons why our participants come together to support our cause.
9. The Competition
Just because we’re not hitting the pavement together doesn’t mean you can’t compete! You can get in on the competition by timing yourself running the 5K distance and then submitting your time. Take a peek at the race website here and tune into the livestream on Sept. 26 at 9 AM EST for rules and guidelines on reporting your time.
10. And most importantly… supporting the cause!
The life-saving and healing power of organ, eye, and tissue donation is what connects everyone at the Donate Life Family Fun Run. We are reminded of it whenever we see the faces of transplant recipients given a second chance at life or when we see the families of our selfless donors. Whether we are together in person or in spirit, our reason for running/walking remains the same: to honor the heroes who gave the gift of life, to celebrate those who have received second chances, and to support the over 110,000 people currently waiting for a life-saving transplant.
What about the Donate Life Family Fun Run are YOU most looking forward to? Tell us in the comments! And don’t forget to register for FREE for this year’s virtual run/walk on Sept. 26–28!