October 1, 2020
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Fort HealthCare wanted to offer the community heart-healthy activities that could be done safely with the entire family, with physical distancing in place. During the summer of 2020, Fort HealthCare implemented the Summer Virtual 5k Run Series. This free series included four different “races” that were held one time per month between June and September. Participants completed a virtual 5k —meaning, they walked or ran 3.1 miles on a course that they chose or completed by treadmill. Once completed, they submitted their time and were put on a virtual leaderboard that tracked their overall place compared to all participants.
The summer series started as a single virtual 5k event over Memorial Day weekend. After over 100 participants registered and completed the race, the momentum and success of the event convinced Fort HealthCare’s Community Health and Wellness Team to create an entire series of races throughout the summer. Three races fell on unofficial/official holiday weekends (Summer Solstice, Fourth of July, and Labor Day) and the final race in August was slated as the “Dog Days of Summer” race.
Tiffany Pernat, Fort HealthCare Worksite Wellness Specialist, reflects, “Participants were also given a free Team Fort HealthCare T-shirt if they completed all four races as a fun incentive for participating. While the T-shirt was a great motivation for some, as completion emails came through, it became apparent that the event was also giving people important motivation and encouragement toward living healthier lifestyles, and in some cases, even courage, to step outside of their comfort zone and so something they’ve never tried before.”
Bob Head, a four-race finisher, wrote to Fort HealthCare, “This event truly made an impact on me. It kept me challenged and accountable. I can’t thank you enough! It’s made a huge impact on my life. These were the first 5ks I ever had the courage to sign-up for.”
Pernat continues, “Many of the participants during this challenge were from the same family or friend group, and we also had many who completed the entire challenge together.”
Area resident, Kati Wetzel, and her daughter, Lydia, completed all four races, and she notes, “I can guarantee we would not have run these this summer without the Virtual 5k Series, and the lure of a free T-shirt! Thank you!”
The final completion numbers for each race were as follows:
A total of 503 individuals completed a virtual 5k over the course of the summer series.
In addition to the individual event completions, there were 98 participants that completed all four races. They are: Amie Ramczyk, Angie Adler, April Findlay, Ashlyn Rulis, Barbara Schmitt, Becky Bohn, Bly Kramer, Bob Head, Brian Sullivan, Bringa Johnson, Cari Polodna, Carol Combs, Cassidy Sampson, Cecilia Smoniewski, Christopher Eiden, Dani Miller, Dani Saltz, Debby Kitsembel, Donald Schmitt, Ebee Voth, Erin Romagna, Erin Topp, Hannah Baldry, Heather Evenson, Heather Haywood, Jeff Helgestad, Jeff Kawleski, Jena Lenz, Jenna Loomans, Jennifer Kawleski, Jennifer Tanis, Jenny Schmitt, Jesse Brandt, Jessica Kozak, Jessica Krause, Joann Helgestad, Jody Mack, Joely Mack, Julia Neppl, Julie Kusel, Julie Schmocker, Kaity Schmear, Kateri Kawleski, Katherine Gorman, Kati Wetzel, Katy Schaefer, Kelly Eiden, Kierah Findlay, Kiernan Kawleski, Krista O’Dell, Kristen McCulloch, Laura Walker, Lauren Mayer, Laurie Linberts, Laurie McGowan, Libby Krause, Liesl Kemmeter, Lindsay Poeppel, Lisa Jensen, Lisa Kvalheim, Lisa Weber, Lydia Wetzel, Madalyn Kawleski, Mark Mack, Martha Ketterman, Mary Heagney, Melissa Overhouse, Michelle Heagney, Mike Cole, Minerva Ramirez, Misty Renz-Sanchez, Morgan Brandt, Morgan Pinzer, Nicole Mepham, Niki Lenz, Nikki Storm, Owen Geiger, Patti Linse, Penny Sullivan, Rebecca Cole, Rebecca Uecker,vRenee Wesenberg, Rob Wiesmann, Ryan Pernat, Sarah Elsner, Sarah Pagenkopf, Sean Walker, Shamika Ross, Sherri Elsner, Stephanie Nottestad, Suzi Koehn, Tammy Nelson, Tanya Geiger, Tara Miller, Tiffany Pernat, TJ Walker, Traci Wilson, and Tracy Apkarian.
Due to the success of the Summer Virtual 5k Series, Fort HealthCare is excited to offer a Winter 5k Series that will begin in October and finish in February of 2021. A total of six FREE virtual races will be offered. Races will be offered one time per month, with two races in November. Once registered, participants can select a day, time and route to run during the race timeline and complete their 3.1 miles. Once completed, they are encouraged to submit proof of completion to Fort HealthCare via email, and their time will be recorded.
As an incentive, each race that is completed will equal one entry into a Grand Prize Drawing that will take place in February 2021, after the series is completed. Participants that complete all six races will receive six drawing entries. All ages are encouraged to participate and eligible to win the prize.
Participants of all ages are encouraged to register in as many races as they’d like to during the series. Interested individuals can register at FortHealthCare.com/Virtual5K. More information and instructions about how to participate in the event can be found on the online registration page. If using social media to share progress and positivity, players are invited to use the hashtag #HealthiestHereWeCome in their posts and to tag @FortHealthCare.
The Virtual 5k Series helps support Fort HealthCare’s Mission, which is to improve the health and well-being of our community, with a Vision to be the healthiest community in Wisconsin. By offering opportunities such as the Winter Virtual 5k Series, individuals are invited to participate in healthful activities, helping themselves and others see how their personal health affects the overall population’s health as a community; doing so helps continue to move the dial forward toward being the healthiest community in Wisconsin.