Image: RunForHaiti event website.
At 9:00 AM on Saturday, February 20, New York City will host a 4-mile walk/run race to raise money for its Haiti Relief Fund—yet the event is not limited to those who can make it to Central Park this weekend. A partnership between the New York Road Runners and MapMyRun.com will enable runners (and walkers) all over the world to participate virtually.
It’s pretty simple: you go to the event website, sign up, and pay the $30 entry fee (100% of which goes directly to the Relief Fund). Then you can use MapMyRun to select a 4-mile route that you’ll cover on any day between February 19th and 24th. Alternately, you could run a 4-mile course you already know, do 16 laps around a track (if you can find one that isn’t covered in snow), or run 4 miles on a treadmill. When you finish, you'll enter your time on the website and officially join the ranks of virtual finishers.
You might recognize this guy. Photo: Wikimedia
Elite runners from all over the world have pledged to participate. They include:
• Paula Radcliffe (Great Britain), women’s world-record holder in the marathon
• Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia), men’s world-record holder in the marathon
• Bill Rodgers (United States), former American record-holder in the marathon
• Grete Waitz (Norway), 1983 world champion in the marathon
• Meb Keflezighi (United States), reigning NYC Marathon champ
• Deena Kastor (United States), 2004 Olympic Marathon bronze medalist
For all those marathoners, a 4-miler will be a breeze. But it's not only distance runners who will be getting in on the action: Usain Bolt—whose homeland, Jamaica, is geographically closer to Haiti than Buffalo is to Cleveland—will also compete.