MONROE, CT — Sprint for Monroe will be held virtually instead of on town roads this year, but the internet has enabled it to cross borders by attracting participants from other states and even other countries.
“Because it’s virtual, my son is doing it in Nashville,” said Dr. Paul Moyse, co-director for the race. “And my daughter, son-in-law and grandkids are participating in London, so it’s an international event.”
“My sister in Michigan and my daughter in New Jersey are participating too,” said Amy Primorac, a Race Committee member.
Primorac said runners from Canada are among the more than 300 people who have registered so far.
The 28th annual Sprint for Monroe will be held from Aug. 23 to 30 and proceeds will benefit Monroe Social Services’ COVID-19 relief efforts.
Because the costs of organizing a virtual Sprint are lower, the registration fee was reduced from $25 to $15.
Runners and walkers have a choice of doing a 1K, 5K or a 10K and can track their times using a cellphone app, or a Garmin, Apple or Strava wrist watch. No trophies will be awarded this year.
T-shirts with masked emojis
Moyse and Primorac participated in a race T-shirt giveaway outside Victorinox Swiss Army with other volunteers Saturday. Primorac designed the logo for the black T-shirts.
The logo is a square with the letters “SMF” for Sprint for Monroe inside and “2020” beneath. The zeroes are yellow smiley face emojis wearing white face masks. Below it says, “Social distance for Monroe.”
Above the square is the name of the title sponsor, Victorinox Swiss Army.
“Isn’t it cute with the masks?” Rachel Olivera asked. “I love it.”
Olivera, who works in Victorinox Swiss Army’s marketing department, was among Saturday’s volunteers. “We’re so excited to be part of this great Monroe tradition and help our community, especially this year,” she said.
On Saturday, Sprint volunteers registered participants and gave out goodie bags with a T-Shirt. The bags contained small packages of cookies, a 15-percent off coupon for Victorinox Swiss Army’s factory store, and a coupon for 10-percent off all merchandise at Woodbridge Running Company.
The back of the T-shirts listed all of Sprint for Monroe’s sponsors from this year and last year, regardless of whether they made a donation. Moyse said this was out of understanding over how the COVID-19 pandemic is hurting businesses.
“We told them if you can make a donation, great. If not, that’s fine, hopefully the publicity will help you and we’ll have you next year,” he said.
“We said, ‘give it your best shot,'” Moyse added. “Some gave a little and some surprised us with a lot.”
Ready to run, or walk
On Saturday, Melissa Catalano picked up T-shirts for herself, her husband and their 15-year-old twins. She said her family has participated in the Sprint for Monroe over the last five years.
“I think it’s good that they’re doing it,” Catalano said of holding the Sprint virtually.
Bonnie Schneider and her husband, Chuck, also stopped by to get their shirts.
Of having the race virtually this year due to COVID, Schneider said, “I think it has to be, unfortunately. I think we’re all disappointed with what’s going on.”
Schneider participated in the Sprint once, but her husband runs it every year. “I’m just lending my support this year to help out,” she said of choosing to participate her second time.
Those who registered for the Sprint for Monroe, but were unable to pickup their T-shirt on Saturday, can do so at the Victorinox Swiss Army factory store, which is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or at Moyse’s chiropractic office, 450 Monroe Turnpike, on Thursday before 7 p.m.
Those wishing to participate in this year’s Sprint can register from now through Aug. 29. To register or to make a financial donation, visit the event’s website.