ETSU Virtual 5K race promotes physical activity while social distancing

Published 2:00 pm Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Part of Campus Recreation ‘Fitness Fridays’

JOHNSON CITY – East Tennessee State University’s Department of Campus Recreation is hosting a free Fitness Friday Virtual 5K on Friday, April 17.
 As students continue spring courses online, ETSU Campus Recreation has also moved online in response to COVID-19.  Savanna Moeller, an avid runner and coordinator of Operations and Aquatics for Campus Recreation, took the idea to connect virtually during this time of social distancing and “ran with it.”
 “Many may be wondering – what is a virtual 5K?”
 “A virtual 5K is a 3.1 mile run, walk, hike, or wheelchair event to promote physical activity in this time of social distancing,” Moeller said. “Hosting a virtual race is a great way to engage with students, faculty, staff, and community members.”
 The Fitness Friday Virtual 5K is open to ETSU students and employees, alumni, members of the Basler Center for Physical Activity (CPA) and the public. Participants will complete 3.1 miles anytime, anywhere on Friday, April 17, and their distance and time will be tracked using an app.
 “The virtual 5K was first developed for ETSU members, however, the event started gaining ground on social media and people from other states including, Michigan, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Kentucky, have expressed interest in registering,” Moeller noted. “Since we are able to offer the event nationwide through social media and a running app, our goal is to have at least one participant in every state, register for the virtual 5K”
 All participants will receive a finisher’s certificate and ETSU members are eligible for prizes. Moeller encourages participants who choose to complete the virtual 5K with a group to maintain at least 6 feet to ensure social distancing.
 “We looked at what other universities are doing at this time of social distancing and thought a Virtual 5K would be a great event for us to host. We know we have several students, faculty, and staff who enjoy walking and running at both the Center for Physical Activity (CPA) and our trails on campus, so thought this would be a great way to connect everyone–no matter their location,” said Kari Albarado, director for ETSU Campus Recreation.
 Later this spring, ETSU Campus Recreation will host another virtual run with varying distances over the course of several weeks. More information will be released on the ETSU Campus Recreation website and social media accounts.
 To learn more about future events and to register for the Fitness Friday Virtual 5K, visit

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