Friday, May 15, 2020 Huskers tally 2,962 miles on foot in the Virtual Run Challenge
The Run Challenge, hosted by Intramural Sports, drew UNL students and their families from all over the country. 117 participants checked in from 14 different states stretching across the country, including Nevada, Pennsylvania and Florida.
The five-week challenge was staged from March 30 to May 9, 2020 and consisted of weekly goals that increased in distance; runners needed to complete a 5k, 10k, a half-marathon, and a marathon. Students just had to use a distance-tracking app to record their miles, and everyone was free to run, jog or walk each weekly challenge.
During Week 1 participants were asked to complete a 5k. The group logged 734 total miles – about the length from Atlanta, GA to Toronto, Canada. In Week 2, they ran the 10K and totaled 668 miles altogether, which is the distance from Denver, CO to Dallas, TX.
Week 3 was the half-marathon, a distance of 13.1 miles. Runners completed 707 miles total, the equivalent of traveling from London in the United Kingdon to Barcelona on the northeast coast of Spain. In Week 4 brought the longest distance for each participant to complete - the marathon or 26.2 miles. The group accumulated 729 miles that week - the distance between Lincoln, NE and Austin, TX.
The fifth and final week of the challenge occurred the same week as spring final exams. Runners needed to only complete a 5K and runners logged 124 miles, equal to traveling from Omaha, NE to Des Moines, IA.
Throughout the entire challenge, participants completed 2,962 total miles. That's the distance from Chicago, IL to Reykjavik, Iceland.
A multitude of different participants had a rewarding time participating in the Run Challenge. One of the most consistent participants, Ryan Martz, logged over 200 miles. Another runner, 80-year-old Chuck Francis, joined in a little late but still completed a challenge. Roarick Schollmeyer could no longer run in his regular spring marathon, but the running challenge gave him a chance to complete the race on his own time.
"It really kept me accountable and was a great excuse to get outdoors," said runner Briley Moates.
Read about Audrey Kreun's virtual half-marathon and the support she received from family and her hometown.
Zac Brost, senior assistant director for sports programs at Campus Recreation, was happy to see the community that built itself up as the program continued.
"I feel like I got to know participants, their dogs, their families," said Brost. "I thoroughly enjoyed Ryan Martz's Minnesota landscape photos, and Roarick kept me posted on his blisters."
Overall, the Run Challenge offered a chance for Huskers to stay active and keep connected, all while covering an impressive distance. Runners enjoyed the opportunity to get fresh air and build a community with other active participants.