Jessica Cejnar / Wednesday, Sept. 15 @ 10:52 a.m. / Community

Run in the Redwoods Goes Virtual; Local Supporters Urged to Visit Prairie Creek


Participants in the 2018 Run in the Redwoods fundraiser. Photo courtesy of the Redwood Parks Conservancy

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Redwood Parks Conservancy will host their annual Run in the Redwoods fundraiser virtually again this year.

As a result, runners from all over the world can participate, however locals are urged to visit Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, according to an organization press release.

From the Redwood Parks Conservancy:

Orick, Calif. – Runners, walkers and others can help support local redwood parks by being part of the 8th annual Run in the Redwoods 5k this October. Race sponsor, Redwood Parks Conservancy (RPC), is organizing a virtual run for supporters all over the country and encouraging local supporters to run their 3.1 miles in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park on their own during the week of October 2 through 9.

With COVID cases rising rapidly in Humboldt and Del Norte counties, the non-profit decided to keep the race mostly virtual for a second year. Organizers are encouraging those who can to run the official course at Prairie Creek, but alone or in small groups.

“We recognize the importance of getting outdoors for health and wellbeing, but we don't want people to gather in unsafe numbers,” says Joanna Di Tommaso Maggetti, RPC’s executive director. She explained a typical Run in the Redwoods would have 150 people running all at once.

“At the same time, we want to encourage those who can, to run here at Prairie Creek,” says Tommaso Maggetti, “there’s a lot of healing power to being out here in the redwoods.” People who participate in the park will have a week to participate and will be able to pick up a special award packet at the visitor center.

Run in the Redwoods was held virtually last year in response to the pandemic. In a virtual run, participants register, with the fees supporting the charity running the event, and then complete their 5k wherever they want. In 2020, supporters participated from 30 states, plus England and Canada. The group brought participants together with a live Facebook event and two videos of the race trail, one with park rangers and guides giving a video tour of Prairie Creek’s features.

This year, organizers hope to grow the number of virtual runners with a new way to experience the redwoods, an audio guided 5k. “People will be able to listen to park rangers and others share stories about Prairie Creek and all our redwood parks while they do their 5K,” says David Reed RPC’s head of development. The audio guide features short talks on the trees, animals and people of Redwood National and State Parks along with an encouraging coach running her own 5K on the trails at Prairie Creek.

Run in Redwoods 5k is a fundraising event for RPC that supports Redwood National and State Parks, and all the state parks from Eureka north to the Oregon border. Proceeds from the event provide funds for education, restoration, science and visitor services in parks RPC serves.

Supporters can register online via RPC’s website: (www.redwoodparksconservancy.org/RITR). The $40 registration fees include a custom-designed, long-sleeve tech shirt; race bib and finisher ribbon. People who register by September 15 will receive their gear by the beginning of race week, October 2. More information is at RedwoodParksConservancy.org/RITR


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