As with many sports programs across the nation, COVID-19 canceled the Keystone College Giants men’s and women’s cross country season, however, that won’t keep them from running.

The Keystone College cross country program is still having a season and will be hosting a four race series.

“I saw other schools doing it throughout the summer. I thought it was a great idea to engage the community and keep us running even though we can’t have a season,” said coach Ian Hankins. “On top of that, I think it could be a great fundraising opportunity.”

Hankins was welcomed to the Giants’ family late last winter and was to begin his rookie seasons as the head coach of both the college’s cross country and track teams this year.

He explained, “This is a virtual competition. You can make it as competitive as you want. Feel free to run or walk and strive towards your own PR (personal record). It is just you against the clock.”

Runners will log their runs on www.strava.com/clubs/735990 and will be able to see results from other runners who took place. Strava is an online running tool that links to your GPS devices such as a Garmin watch or phone. You can also manually enter your results on the honor code.

The men’s and women’s cross country teams will also be participating in the races as part of their social distance practices.

“This will be our biggest fundraiser of the year,” said Hankins. “We are asking for a modest donation of $25 per race or $75 for all four races for your ‘entry fee.’”

Those who donate $25 will receive a Keystone Cross Country Face Mask, and a $50 donation will receive a face mask and shirt. Anyone who donates $75 or more will receive a face mask, shirt and hat.

Hankins said, “This will raise money for our cross country and track and field program to purchase new uniforms and warm-ups.”

Kickoff for the fall season will begin with the Autumn Mile on the weekend of Sept. 25-27.

Over the weekend of Oct. 9-11, the team will have Homecoming and Hall of Fame events with a Virtual 5k Run/Walk.

To get in the Halloween spirit, the Giants invite you to run a mile in costume or do a zombie walk throughout your neighborhood, trick-or-treating with your masks on, on the last weekend of the month.

To conclude the virtual race series, the runners want to end on a good note with the traditional Thanksgiving Turkey Trot.

Participants can post pictures to Strava when they log in the run.

“It is essentially a social media site for runners to show where you ran. I’m hoping we get some fun pictures of the runners in costume for the Halloween Run or maybe even dressed as a turkey for the Turkey Trot,” said Hankins.

He continued, “I’m excited for this virtual season to bring the local running community together to compete against each other. I thank everybody for their support in our cross country and track and field program.”

Please help support the Keystone cross country program by registering online for one or all of the races. To donate, please visit https://p2p.idonate.com/p/682b1e73-b17e-44d3-aead-8bae522892eb.

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