The Derrick City Volunteer Fire Department’s fifth annual Feel the Burn 5K will look a little different this year.
The race will be held virtually to keep people safe during the pandemic, according to race coordinator Sierra Campbell, who started the race five years ago. Campbell is also the vice president and board member of the department and EMT/FF1.
The event day is Aug. 15, but people are able to race at their convenience.
“The event is on Facebook, however, with it being virtual — participants can do this race any day or time before August 15th,” explained Campbell. “This makes it easier for more people to participate because there really is no pressure. You can run the race, you can walk the race or you can just donate and get your T-shirt and not have to do the race at all.”
The cost to register is $25, and there is a $5 fee for anyone who wants their T-shirt shipped. If they prefer, participants will be able to pick up their shirt between 4 and 6 p.m. Aug. 14 at the fire hall, 451 Derrick Road.
The event will benefit the Derrick City Volunteer Fire Department.
People can register by either using the online form on the Facebook event page, or they can email email@example.com and pay via PayPal. Emails should include the participant’s name, address, phone number and shirt size.
There will be no race day activities except for on Facebook, she said. Race participants should send in their race time and a picture of themselves in the race shirt, and the deadline will be midnight on Aug. 15. Event organizers will post the winners on Facebook the following day.
Awards will be given to the overall male and overall female winners, Campbell added.
It will be an experiment for the fire department to see how residents take to the virtual event.
“Like I said, it should be more convenient for participants — but I do not know what the outcome will be with this being virtual. Some people might lose motivation having to do it on their own or not do it at all because they feel they don’t have too,” said Campbell. “Either way, they are still helping out our department and for that, we are very thankful.”
It is not the first time organizers tried something new.
“The first year was a normal 5k to get our feet wet and see how it would play out and every year it grew,” she explained. “The last 3 years the race has been a color run, which was pretty successful — but this year is a whole new ball game with COVID-19 and having to do almost everything virtually.”
Because it is one of the department’s biggest events, Campbell is hopeful people will still support it, despite being held virtually. She is grateful for the help they have already received.
“I can’t thank the small businesses (who have been hit hard enough themselves) for their support of this event with everything happening,” she said. “It just goes to show how great our community is and I am so proud to be a part of it.”
The proceeds will go to the fire department, which, like many local organizations, has been unable to hold many of its fundraisers due to COVID-19 concerns.
For the Derrick City firefighters, annual fundraisers would have included a ham & turkey raffle, chicken barbecue, bingo, the boot drive and more — events that provide funds the department counts on to function, according to Campbell.
Among the expenses the department had planned for 2020 was a new fire engine.
“I just think it’s been a crazy, eye-opening year for everyone and hopefully 2021 treats us better. We have not been bringing in any funds and have been hit very hard,” she said. “Our weekly bingo has been shut down for months, our fire department flooded and had extensive damage done, we are trying to still purchase our new fire engine and equipment has been breaking left and right.
“It can only get better from here, right?”