Registration is open for the inaugural Connecticut Collegiate Virtual 5K, Michael Dalfonso, University of Connecticut Recreation associate director, said.
The Connecticut Collegiate Virtual 5K allows students, alumni, friends, family, faculty and staff from 20 Connecticut colleges and universities to participate in a socially distant run, he said. According to the CT Collegiate 5K website, the goal of the event is to promote healthy activity and engagement across the entire state.
“The Connecticut Collegiate Virtual 5K is an opportunity for students around the state to get out and do something active no matter where they may be located this semester,” Dalfonso said. “Participants can run, jog, or walk 3.1 miles, 5K, wherever and whenever is convenient for them and the results can be submitted virtually through the registration system.”
Participants can register anytime before Oct. 25 on the Connecticut Collegiate 5K website, according to the website. Starting Oct. 22 until Oct. 25 at 11:59 p.m., participants can log their process until they hit 5K and upload their results and verification photos. Registration is $15.
All registered participants will receive a downloadable race bib, finisher certificate and race t-shirt, Dalfonso said.
“The race t-shirt has a great design and everyone who registers will have it shipped directly to them following the event,” he said.
The race committee, made up of judges connected to seven of the colleges and universities, will be picking winners from each school based on their social media posts, Dalfonso said. According to the Daily Digest, there will be prizes based on school spirit, Halloween costumes and participation referrals.
“We encourage everyone to post and share their experience on social media and there are incentive prizes for referring a friend and the best and most creative posts,” Dalfonso said.
There is also the CT Cup, an award that will go to the college or university with the most registered participants, according to the Connecticut Collegiate 5K website. Dalfonso said there has been some “friendly competition” among schools for the cup.
“UConn is doing great, but Trinity College and Quinnipiac University are not far behind,” Dalfonso said.
Dalfonso said UConn Recreation has been in weekly meetings with recreation departments and student activities professionals from other Connecticut colleges and universities since the summer to plan new events for the fall.
“We all decided to team up for a virtual event that all schools could add to their event calendar and also provide some exercise, engagement and friendly competition between our Connecticut colleges and universities,” he said. “This first year will be virtual, but we look forward to when the race can be hosted live as an invitational event.”
The Connecticut Collegiate Virtual 5K is a great virtual alternative to UConn’s traditional Huskies Forever 5K that takes place during the fall semester, Dalfonso said.
“UConn Rec has an awesome community of runners/joggers/walkers and we are glad to be able to get everyone involved in a safe and socially distant way,” he said. “UConn Rec has organized many road races before, but this is definitely a first for us to host such a large virtual event and work with our colleague institutions for something so much bigger than just our school.”
Dalfonso said UConn Recreation is looking forward to seeing all of the social media posts with the hashtag to watch how everyone is training, running and participating.
“The response so far has been amazing and we are excited to grow this event and work with the other CT schools to build this into an annual tradition,” Dalfonso said.