It was an unusual year for the Run the Peninsula series, with four of the series’ five races having to switch to virtual events due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
One effect of running events this year going virtual? For the first time in the organization’s history, the Port Angeles Marathon Association had participants in its races from all 50 states.
The Port Angeles Marathon Association is a non-profit organization that has organized the North Olympic Discovery Marathon for the past 18 years and then added the Run the Peninsula Race Series in 2019. These races include the Elwha Bridge Run in February, the Railroad Bridge Run in April, the North Olympic Discovery Marathon in June, the Larry Scott Trail Run in October and a night glow run through the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal Campus in December.
Because of COVID-19, only the February Elwha Bridge Run was conducted as a live, in-person event this year. All other events had to be switched to virtual races.
“Having to switch our events to all virtual events gave us the opportunity to focus our marketing efforts outside of the Olympic Peninsula. Participants from all over the nation have enjoyed being a part of the Run the Peninsula Race Series this year,” race director Victoria Jones said.
One participant, Ryan Gackenheimer from Sharon, Conn., was thankful, “for making this [event] virtual and available for folks across the country.”
“(I) was really grateful for the virtual option. In the COVID era it was great to be able to run a race. Thanks for this opportunity! I am looking forward to participating in the in-person event next year,” Bremerton resident Crystal Whittier said.
The event was scheduled to return to a live race beginning with the Jamestown S’Klallam race Dec. 5; however, because of an increase of COVID-19 cases on the peninsula it too has been moved to a virtual event. Registration for the virtual 5K and 10K event is open. Participants receive a race bib, fleece blanket and Jamestown Bridge medal. Cost is $30. Register at www.tinyurl.com/Jamestownrun.
People can still register for the 2020 Run the Peninsula Virtual Race Series. To register or for more information, visit runthepeninsula.com.
PAMA continues to give to the community. In 2020, more than $15,000 was raised and donated with approximately $10,000 going to the Olympic Discovery Trail, the trail that all of the events take place on. Over the past five years, PAMA has donated more than $100,000 to North Olympic Peninsula community organizations.
The North Olympic Discovery Marathon and Run the Peninsula are made possible by the community support from volunteers. Title sponsors are First Federal, Peninsula Daily News and Sequim Gazette, and race presenting sponsors are Olympic Medical Center, Elwha Klallam Tribe, Jefferson Health Care and the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe.