Popular RidgeWalk and Run goes virtual in 2021 due to rising COVID-19 cases

“We hope that this will be the last year we have to hold a virtual RidgeWalk,” said Event Chair Jim Helms

From News Reports
Kim Schmitt of Hornell nears the finish line in the 2019 RidgeWalk and Run. The 2021 event will be virtual due to rising COVID-19 cases in the area.

WELLSVILLE — Jones Memorial Hospital announced Thursday that the 29th Annual RidgeWalk & Run will be a virtual event this year.

The announcement comes after months of wrestling with how to ensure the safety of participants as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, said Event Chair Jim Helms. 

“Last year, we hoped that the virtual RidgeWalk would be a once in a lifetime occurrence,” said Helms. “But given the resurgence of COVID, this is the right thing to do.”

The second virtual RidgeWalk will be very much like the first one. Participants can register as usual at https://runsignup.com/Race/NY/Wellsville/28thAnnualRidgeWalkRun.

“The registration process is the same and all of the standard distances are listed,” Helms said. “Complete the chosen route between Oct. 9th and 18th and submit a completion form.”

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The committee is asking participants to submit photos of their walk or run, which they hope will continue the spirit of the event by taking place on trails.

“We recognize this isn’t possible for everyone,” he added. “But we are encouraging people to post photos of their participation on Instagram (#ridgewalkrun) or The RidgeWalk & Run Facebook page or by Facebook Messenger.”

You can also email pictures and stories to RidgeWalk@urmc.rochester.edu.

The good news for RidgeWalk t-shirt collectors is that those participating in the virtual event will be mailed a 29th annual RidgeWalk t-shirt, noting that it was a virtual event. Because there are no sponsors, this year’s swag bag is limited to the t-shirt, which will be mailed in late November.

As usual, all proceeds from the RidgeWalk & Run will be used for community health initiatives. A link to registration can be found on the Jones Memorial Hospital website: jones.rochester.edu.

“We hope that this will be the last year we have to hold a virtual RidgeWalk,” said Helms, noting that the continued presence of COVID in the community makes it difficult to plan large events like this. “We encourage everyone to get the COVID vaccine. Next year is the 30th event which calls for something special – especially after two years of virtual events – and getting a vaccine is a great way to support the RidgeWalk and Jones Memorial.”