Umpqua Strong run making a comeback despite pandemic

There will be in-person and virtual options for people to participate.

Posted: Aug 19, 2020 2:13 PM
Updated: Aug 19, 2020 6:33 PM

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- The Umpqua Strong run is making a comeback this year, both virtually and physically.

The run, which is typically held at Stewart Park every September, is a way to honor the victims of the Umpqua Community College shooting in 2015 while raising money for the community.

The fifth annual run was canceled last year because a lack of committee volunteers. An unofficial run was held in 2019 instead.

RELATED: ORGANIZERS CANCEL FOURTH ANNUAL UMPQUA STRONG RUN

Organizers said they were unsure if the event would happen this year due to COVID-19. However, they said they wanted to make sure it happened because of how much the event means to the community.

“We don’t wanna forget what happened, we want to remember those people we lost," said committee member Lynn McAllister. 

McAllister said all the money raised will go to local nonprofits and scholarships in the victims' names. 

The run will be held in-person at Stewart Park, just like every year. Depending on how many people register, participants will be split into smaller groups to comply with social distancing.

Stephanie LaFleur, the owner of Oregon Serigraphics, told KEZI 9 News that she's glad organizers are bringing back the event this year. Her company made all the T-shirts every year before it was canceled last year. She said she's excited to be apart of the comeback. 

“Examine the opportunity to give the community something to celebrate in unity," said LaFleur. 

Organizers said there will not be a separate kid event this year, but they hope kids participate alongside their parents.

They also said there will be a virtual option for those who don’t want to participate in person. If someone chooses the virtual option, organizers said people will need to upload their times and videos of them running or walking.

The event is set for Sept. 26.

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