6 Steps to Make Your Virtual 5K Fun and Successful

The 2020-2021 VCU-Marquette Challenge is almost underway. Our student fundraisers make it possible for the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research (FPTR) to award research grants, scholarships, and fellowships – and research is more important than ever for patients and the profession. Though this year will be different, we’ll get through this and we’ll do it together. Students can rise to “the Challenge” of our times and connect with physical therapy research in a meaningful way by holding virtual Challenge events like 5Ks.

Planning your virtual walk or run? Try these steps to make your event successful (and fun) while keeping your participants safe.

1. Pick a date and time with flexibility in mind.

With a virtual event, you may have participants across the US. You aren’t limited to a single start time. You can even choose a time range of a few days to give people more flexibility. Participants can map their route ahead of time or use GPS enabled devices to track their time and distance.

2. Pick a registration price that covers cost of prizes and shipping.

Some local businesses will help you sponsor the event to cover these costs. FPTR offers a budget template to help you determine these costs.

3. Share your event with us!

Contact FPTR to create an event registration page that includes event logistics. We’ll also help you share your event with a national audience by including in our event calendar and in social media posts.

4. Get participants excited with a fun t-shirt or other prize.

Your race giveaways can serve as a reminder of a positive experience during a very difficult time. Your school’s media department may be able to help if you have a great idea but are stuck on the design.

5. Promote, promote, promote.

Just one friend or family member sharing your event on social media can double the reach of your event. You may even find running message boards or groups that will help you get the word out to a new audience.


It’s a good idea to remind your participants of local recommendations for safety – such as mask requirements. Don’t forget to ask your runners and walkers to share their photos on social media using a shared hashtag, such as #OurVirtualResearchRace, to connect your participants.

For other ways to participate, visit the Marquette Challenge Toolkit.


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