To keep tradition alive, the Sandwich Thanksgiving 5K is pivoting this year to allow for the special circumstances associated with COVID-19. The race this year has gone virtual.
The Thanksgiving Sandwich Virtual 5K will allow runners to complete their own personal 5K courses in their neighborhoods or favorite running spots on either Wednesday, November 25, or Thanksgiving Day..
The 5K is held to support the Sandwich and Bourne food pantries, both of which have seen their shelves hit harder than usual this year due to the pandemic. Monies raised through the race will go toward filling those shelves and providing necessary items for the pantries to continue their mission.
Race organizer Jennifer Hurley said registration this year is far, far below normal years. During a typical year, the event draws between 1,200 and 1,450 runners. So far this year, fewer than 200 runners have registered for the race. With registration costing $20 per runner, that is a difference of about $10,000 for the pantries.
“We expected participation to be low, but sadly it’s crazy low,” Ms. Hurley said. “My true hope is that folks are going to still make monetary donations directly to the Sandwich Food Pantry...we have no overhead being virtual, so every cent will go to the SFP.”
Runners can register by visiting the race’s Facebook page and following the link there, or can go directly to www.southshoreracemanagement.redpodium.com/thanksgiving-sandwich-virtual-5k.
Ms. Hurley said the race, like the holiday it occurs on, is about more than running. She hopes the community will latch onto the spirit and help the pantries flourish during the holiday season.
“I understand the physical and social aspect is missing, but the heart of the event is the difference that it makes for so many,” she said. “I would hate to see COVID stifle that.”
There will be a fundraiser at Sandwich High School at noon on Wednesday, November 25. The SHS football team will play a 7v7 passing game against Saint John Paul II and donations will be accepted. Attendees are asked to wear masks and practice social distancing.