ORANGEVALE, Calif. (KTXL) – One year after an entire year of canceled events because of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are getting vaccinated.
As vaccination rates rise, people are starting to feel more comfortable leaving their homes and that includes participating in running events.
“I am doing my first live race since March 2020 and I’m really excited,” Orangevale resident Carolyn Simpson told FOX40 early Sunday morning. “So we did virtual races and we would hit the trails. The trails have just been a live saver.”
With a strict goal in mind, Simpson made sure to show up to the “Love My Mom 5K” hosted by the city of Folsom.
“I looked at my time from 2016, I think it was, and I think it was 30 minutes and I’m like, yeah, I don’t think I can do that today. I’m going to give it my best shot,” Simpson said.
The race has been going on for the last seven years but with the pandemic last year, the city had to cancel the live race and instead offered a virtual one.
“We had runners compete and just run leisurely out and about on the trails and wherever they were in the community. We had runners run internationally with our race,” explained Folsom recreation manager Tom Hellmann.
City officials say they had a feeling people would be excited about being back in-person for this year’s race with an option to participate virtually.
“We put together a plan of how we could do this safely and with precautions and who could come out and how we would be able to get them going,” Hellman said.
Runners were put into different groups of 20 people or less, 15-minutes apart, to keep with social distancing guidelines.
FOX40 caught up with Simpson during her race to see if she would reach her goal.
“33:57, my best this year,” Simpson said with joy. “The last half mile is up.”
In past years, Folsom city officials say they typically see 400 to 500 participants but with the option to do the run virtually, about 150-people showed up for the race Sunday.