Cellcom Green Bay Marathon to run a virtual marathon next year
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The pandemic has claimed the running of the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon for a second year.
Organizers announced on the marathon’s Facebook page that the board of directors and health partner Prevea Health decided they couldn’t safely hold the race in person in May. It had to consider the runners, walkers, staff and volunteers and the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus.
Race co-director Alissa Cotter was interviewed Thursday on Action 2 News at 4:30. She said, “We really spent a lot of time talking throughout the fall looking at numbers. We spent a lot of time consulting with Prevea, as well, and the crew that they have there, looking at other races around the country happening in 2021 that are similar to our size and also taking into consideration what our numbers are in Green Bay on the ground, and really the decision was, the writing was on the wall. We held out as long as we could but felt very strongly that we really wanted to protect our runners and our community as best we could and that decision was made for us to go virtual.”
The annual marathon typically attracts thousands of runners from around the U.S. and even other countries. Previous race weekends included full- and half-marathons, a 5K run/walk, relay and kids run.
When last year’s event was canceled, runners and walkers who registered were encouraged to run or walk on any day of their choosing and log their miles, even if it wasn’t on the planned day of the marathon. At the time, entrants had the option to defer their registration for the 2021 race.
The event raises money for local charities. Organizers say this year’s virtual marathon will be no different, with a “defined mission... to make a difference in our community” to help people suffering hunger, homelessness, or mental health problems because of the pandemic. Details will come out next month, including ways they hope to get kids more involved in the virtual event.
In the video above, Cotter talks about what they’ll do differently in 2021, including a 100-mile challenge, and the feedback received from runners so far.
Copyright 2020 WBAY. All rights reserved.