65 Roses Virtual Run (65 Miles for Cystic Fibrosis)

COVID-19 and social distancing has made the larger part of 2020 a weird year and an anxiety-inducing year for many. The use of masks and the 6 feet apart rule is new and unfamiliar territory to so much of the population. But not to those with cystic fibrosis.

These precautions are already norms for us. We follow many of these guidelines throughout the whole year. We wear masks to avoid cross-infection in CF clinics. We practice social distancing during flu season. We avoid hugging, kissing and touching our own family and friends if someone is sick. We cancel plans if we are sick, or someone in a group activity is sick.

How social distancing is affecting those with CF

The rest of the world is now starting to see a glimpse into the everyday life of someone with CF. However, social distancing is ramped up now even for CF standards, because we are in the high-risk population for COVID.1 I have not gone inside anywhere besides my own house in over a month now. I haven’t spent time with my family besides video chats. My boyfriend has made all the necessary trips out for groceries and gas.

What has been keeping me sane is maintaining a routine and making sure exercise is a high priority in that routine, especially outdoor runs and walks.

It was on one of these long runs that an idea popped into my head. I started thinking about how much I had been enjoying my runs and how this period has given me time to start increasing the mileage of my runs, without even having anything to train for. I also started thinking about how many fundraising events and races have unfortunately been canceled this year and how disappointing that is.

Putting these two thoughts together, I came up with the idea to host a virtual run fundraiser for the CF Foundation in honor of their 65th anniversary this year: The 65 Roses Run (65 miles for Cystic Fibrosis).

What is the 65 Roses Virtual Run?

The goal is for runners (or walkers) to log 65 miles between now and the weekend of 6/5 (can you see the pattern yet?), ending with a virtual race weekend. Race weekend would take place between 6/5-6/7, asking racers to complete their mileage with their chosen race distance.

Throughout the whole process, we want to develop a sense of community and motivation for each other, because that is really the goal of this whole event. We want to spread awareness about CF and also how people can stay active, healthy, and mentally strong throughout this process. The event has provided outlines for proposed mileage for each runner to hit their goal, as well as a collaborative spreadsheet for runners to track their mileage and provide motivation and a sense of community within the event.

Race goals for all running and walking abilities

This event is truly for runners and walkers of all abilities, with many different distance suggestions or the ability to choose your own goal! A few race suggestions are:

  • Plain and simple, hit the 65 mile total goal (running or walking)
  • Making your focus to run a race that pushes you on race day: that can be 13.1 miles, 10 miles, 5 miles or a 5k, whatever you are comfortable with. I have created resources for all of these race goals to also hit the 65 mile goal.
  • Run or walk six 5ks
  • Choose your own goal: I know that some of these options may still feel overwhelming to people, so choose what you are comfortable with. For example, my dad is biking instead (because of his foot problems) and upped his mileage goal to 200 cycling miles.

If anyone is in need of extra motivation or ways to spread awareness or advocacy for CF during this time (May is CF awareness month), this event is the perfect outlet for that. If this is something you are interested in, and end up joining us, please share your journey throughout the entire process and on race day, and tag it with #65RosesRun and @cffgreaternj.

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