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The Ocracoke 5K/10K/half-marathon will go virtual this year.

Race Director Angie Todd said in an email that this event would have been so helpful to the island in its recovery from Hurricane Dorian, but now the COVID-19 pandemic has scotched an in-person event, which benefits Ocracoke Community Radio WOVV, Ocracoke School Athletic Boosters Club and Ocracoke Community Park. 

Many events have gone virtual this year and people may be feeling some virtual burnout, but Todd and her crew have gotten creative for the virtual race.

On race weekend, Nov. 14 and 15, they will set out all the mile markers on the course on race weekend. 

“If you are here, you can run the official course,” she said, and she will personally be present for much of the day on Saturday and Sunday at the start/finish line to answer questions, offer guidance and cheer on the runners. 

There will not be any official support, so runners are asked to bring their own water and nutrition.  Those who do run in person will receive a voucher good for one beer at 1718 Brewing Ocracoke though no official after-party will be held.

Anyone can sign up for the event and you can run “virtually” or not.

A virtual race can be run (or walked) from any location you choose on any date within the window set by the race organizers. You can run, jog, or walk on the road, on the trail, on the treadmill, at the gym, or on the track. You get to run your own race, at your own pace, and time it yourself.  You can time your race with RaceJoy (our official timer) or the app of your choice and send us the results to be displayed on the leaderboard. 

The window to participate in the race will go beyond the actual race weekend to Nov. 29. Typically, virtual races are “open” for a large window of time to allow people to complete the race at a time that works best for them, Todd said. 

Supporting this event will help to fund these community services that are struggling to stay afloat.

“Organizers of virtual races still incur almost all the expenses they would incur if the race were in person,” Todd said.  “We still pay for the registration and results platform. We still pay for the T-shirts and medals (with the additional expense of postage). We still pay for advertising.”

Sponsors of the event will still be recognized.

“Your name/logo will still be printed on the posters and the T-shirts and will still be spotlighted on WOVV,” Todd said.  Sponsors still will have a dedicated page on the race website.  

“We have gone virtual, but we have not stopped appreciating you,” she said.  

Runners in the 5K, 10K and Half Marathon receive a high quality, quick dry T-shirt. Sizes are only guaranteed if runners register before Oct. 25.

For details and to sign up, visit online: https://runsignup.com/Race/Events/NC/Anytown/OcracokeIsland10K5K.

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Almost 500 runners ran in the 2019 5K/10K/half-marathon on Ocracoke. This year, due to COVID-19, the race will be virtual. Photo: C. Leinbach

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