Blue Ridge Hospice’s Butterfly Run takes off October 2 | Winchester Star
WINCHESTER – The annual Blue Ridge Hospice Butterfly Run is ready to take off.
The event – scheduled from 8 a.m. to noon on October 2 at Blandy’s Experimental Farm, 400 Blandy Farm Lane near Boyce – is designed to raise funds for Blue Ridge Hospice and raise awareness of the organization’s continuing mission to goal nonprofit providing end-of-life and bereavement care – counseling services to residents of the North Shenandoah Valley.
This year marks a return to in-person racing. Due to COVID-19, last year’s Butterfly Run was held virtually, meaning participants completed the 5K or 10K run where they chose and entered their times in an app .
Virtual racing will be an option again this year, but there will also be a face-to-face race.
The last time the Butterfly Run was held in person was in 2019. Rick Gowdy, director of philanthropy at Blue Ridge Hospice at 333 W. Cork St. in Winchester, said about 275 people attended. .
“We hope for somewhere between 275 and 300 [runners this year]”Gowdy said.” We’ll see where it is in terms of COVID and everything, but I think everyone is anxious to get out. “
Blue Ridge Hospice President and CEO Cheryl Hamilton Fried said all staff and volunteers working for the run will wear face masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Runners will also be required to wear masks before and after races, but not while on the course. The races will start at 9 a.m. and will be staggered so that participants can remain socially distanced from their competitors.
In addition to raising money for Blue Ridge Hospice, the Butterfly Run also provides an opportunity for area residents who have been locked up for over a year due to the pandemic to get out and socialize with their neighbors.
“We really understand the amount of grief and anxiety that individuals have gone through even without the loss of a loved one,” Fried said. “We hope to provide that level of support through these types of events.”
Online registration for this year’s Butterfly Race is underway. By Sunday, the cost to register for in-person races is $ 25 for 5K and $ 30 for 10K. The virtual race fee is $ 30 for 5K and $ 35 for 10K. Costs do not include the nominal registration fee which starts at $ 2.45 per person.
The pre-registration fee for all races will increase by $ 10 starting Monday.
People who register on the morning of the races will pay the highest fees: $ 45 for 5K in person or $ 50 for 10K in person, and $ 50 for virtual 5K and $ 55 for virtual 10K, plus fees. Registration fees .
Anyone who recruits sponsors and raises $ 100 or more for Blue Ridge Hospice will not have to pay a registration fee. In addition, prizes will be awarded to the participants who raise the most money for the association.
For those running in Blandy, packet pickups will be available starting at 8 a.m. on October 2. Prizes will be awarded to the best male and female competitors in person, as well as the top three men and women in the age categories 19 and under, 20 -29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60 -69 and 70+.
No race rewards will be given to virtual runners, but all those who register for the Butterfly Run will receive a T-shirt. The jerseys will be distributed on the morning of the race to those running in Blandy and mailed to all those who participate virtually.
Blue Ridge Hospice hopes to raise at least $ 10,000 from this year’s Butterfly Run. People who prefer not to run can still support the cause by making a financial donation or by becoming a sponsor of the event.
“We really appreciate the support we get from the community,” Fried said.
To register or learn more about this year’s butterfly race at the Blandy Experimental Farm, visit brhospice.org.