Difficult times call for difficult decisions – or so they say. But a decision we thought we might have to make can also be turned in to a very creative alternative, easing the burden of having to make that difficult decision. 

Clear as mud? Well, for Winterset Rotarians, coming up with a plan to keep their long standing tradition of hosting a race over Memorial Day weekend, during these times of social distancing, was just what needed to happen. Instead of canceling what many have come to know as the John Wayne 5k Run, a clever group of Rotarians has come up with and developed a brand new race to be held in its place. 

Introducing the VIRTUAL VIRUS VICTORY RACE! Many organizations are using this idea to keep those with the love of racing happy, healthy, and content. This virtual race will allow so many more of us to participate at our own pace and location, walking, running, biking etc. all the while being considerate of our need for social distancing. It’s exactly what many of us need right now. The VVVR includes a 5k run/walk and a 25k bike ride. 

There are no parking problems. No crowds. No long bathroom lines. There is no start gun or nervous, pre-race chitchat with other participants. There’s not even an official starting line. 


Zack Freaseraces to the finish during a past Rotary event.

Participants sign up, pay their registration fee and select their distance. Then they choose their own starting line, whether it’s on a treadmill or a neighborhood street. They run, jog, walk or bike ride the race distance sometime in the week immediately preceding the deadline. After the virtual race, participants post their times online and are then mailed a finisher’s T-shirt and a medal. 

Register online at GetMeRegistered.com/VirtualVirusVictory or visit Rotary’s Facebook event page @Winterset Rotary. Registration deadline is May 25. 

Proceeds from this spring race event will benefit food insecurity through our local CRISP program as well as the Food Bank of Iowa. CRISP is a local group that focuses on reducing stress in families with children during times of transition and economic need. They help by linking families with local resources in a fast, efficient way. The Food Bank of Iowa is dedicated to providing enough food for every Iowan in our service area to live healthy, active lives. 

Please join us in supporting these worthy organizations. Winterset Rotary has been making a difference in our community since 1922. Your participation in this unique new race will benefit so many. Stay well, stay safe and stay active!