HELENA -- With COVID-19 concerns swirling across the globe, runner are still able to get out and run as a viable social distancing activity. As warmer weather works it's way back into Montana, races across the state and the country are still in flux given the uncertainty these time present.
With all of these factors taken into consideration, Prickly Pear Land Trust made the decision to do their Don't Fence Me In Trail Run on a virtual platform. Racers can sign up and compete in the race anywhere from April 15 to June 30th with the registration cut off being June 1. Despite not having a physical race presence, PPLT's Director Mary Hollow hopes this virtual race is able to draw in even more competitors because people are able to do it anywhere and anytime during that 10-week period.
"One of the eye opening transitions in the virtual race is that, people can run it from anywhere," said Hollow. "Having that opportunity to engage people in other locations really expands, I think, the potential for participation numbers to be really, really high."
Given the race doesn't have a physical presence, there will be no aid stations along the way for runners to stop at if they're having trouble during the race, which is why Hollow says participants need to be vigilant in ensuring their own safety when out on one of the courses.
"In addition to making sure that we're being safe by social distancing, also be sure to bring proper hydration pack a snack or two," said Hollow. "These days, most people carry some sort of mobile device, and that's always an extra level of safety."
Moving forward, Hollow did note that participants in future can expect to see this platform if this year's run goes according to plan.
"I hope that there is some level of the virtual race that we can continue going on in future years," said Hollow. "We'll definitely do an in person event again, but there is an element that we can continue in the virtual sense if it works."
The Don't Fence Me In Race runs from April 15 to June 30 and informationon registration can be found, here.