Run to Feed the Hungry asks people to sign up for virtual event

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — It’s known as the largest Thanksgiving Day run in the country, attracting tens of thousand participants.

Run to Feed the Hungry benefits the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services. The nonprofit feeds more than 300,000 people every month.

“Because of the pandemic, their services have increased two-to-three fold with the need,” said Rich Hanna, the event director. “Run to Feed the Hungry is their biggest fundraiser of the year. So, if this is not successful, they’re going to struggle to meet that need.”

Hanna and a team of organizers had to get very creative planning a race during a pandemic.

“Yeah, we’re a virtual run this year. So, there’s no mass gatherings,” Hanna explained.

There will be no official course or start time this year. People don’t even have to run the race on Thanksgiving. Instead, they can do it anytime, anywhere they choose between Nov. 22 and Dec. 5.

Runners will have the option of uploading their time on the race website.

Organizers would love to see more people sign up.

“We knew the numbers would be down a bit. I will say that we’re thrilled that we’re not down as much as we thought they would be,” Hanna told FOX40. “We usually get 29,000 people out there for the race. My goal as the event director was to get half of that for this year and I’m happy to say that we’re trending towards a little more than half. But we really want to get to about two-thirds.”

For those who are used to running more casually, this is their chance to try out an organized race. It’s easy to register online.

“They just need to go to runtofeedthehungry.com. All the information is there and super easy process to register for the event,” Hanna said. 

You can make an appointment to pick up race materials, which will be available outside Fremont Presbyterian Church in Sacramento Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday.

“We have the plexiglass for all the tables, social distancing, have to wear a mask. Everybody knows the drill by now,” Hanna said.

You can also have the race packet shipped. But at this time, there’s no guarantee you’ll receive it by Thanksgiving.

Either way, your participation will help feed your hungry neighbors.

And with optimistic eyes to the future, organizers are hoping to host the biggest race ever in 2021.

“We’ve always wanted to go over 30,000 people and I’m really hoping next year will be that year,” Hanna explained.

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