Virtual Fort4Fitness attracts both local and national participants


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The 13th annual Fort4Fitness Fall Festival is scheduled for this weekend, however it is taking place virtually. Despite the virtual format, participants have registered from local communities, as well as locations far away.

A group of 11 runners will be participating this weekend in Huntington. They plan on running the same race lengths that they would have if the event was in a normal format. Members from the group say that they are glad the Fort4Fitness event is still taking place in some capacity, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These races, since a lot of them have gone virtual, it’s just really nice to have something to shoot for. It’s hard to go out everyday to just run for nothing,” said Susan Zahn, resident of Huntington.

Zahn added that having a running group, that is all working towards the same goal has been helpful throughout this year.

“Just being together with friends has been inspirational. It’s just lonely when you’re sitting home by yourself. So just getting out and being able to be with friends have been great,” Zahn said.

The Huntington running group wanted to keep the virtual format fun and creative, so they designed shirts for the members to run in. The bright yellow-green t-shirts have the name of the running group, the Galloping Gigabytes, which was inspired by the virtual format of this years’ event.

“They won’t miss us out there, so I think that’s also a fun takeaway, that people in Huntington, maybe, it will inspire somebody else to come out and join our group. Or even just get out and run,” Zahn said.

The Huntington group is just one example of people getting together to complete their Fort4Fitness goals virtually. Many others from around the region, and even the nation, have registered to participate.

“We have had people sign up from Washington, from Florida, Minnesota, we’ve been sending out packets all week. A lot of Ohio which we normally get anyway. But it’s really great that it has broadened the participation level,” said Satin Lemon, Executive Director of Fort4Fitness.

Organizers said that the virtual format of this years virtual event will become a standard for years to come, in addition to the normal in-person event.

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