Annual Bark City 5K virtually chases the coronavirus up a tree
What: Miners Day Bark City 5K
When: Monday, Sept. 7
With COVID-19 taking a toll on this year’s Miners Day celebrations, local dog owners will wag their tails to know the annual Bark City 5K is on.
This year, however, the run — produced by the Park City Twilight Rotary Club — will be held virtually on Monday, Sept. 7, said club spokeswoman Julie Strople.
“You can map out your own course, whether you live in Park City or not,” Strople said. “It will be done through an honor system, and you can use their AppleWatch or FitBit to track your time and distance. Once you finish, you can take a picture of your tracker’s screen, yourself and your dog and send it to us.”
Information about how to send the photos to Twilight Rotary will be provided when runners register at sportstats.raceentry.com/miners-day-5k/race-information.
The registration fee is $25, and all who register before Sept. 4 will receive an official Bark City 5K neck gaiter, while runners who register after Sept. 4, won’t be guaranteed a neck gaiter.
Twilight Rotary Club made hosting the Bark City 5K a priority, because the money raised through registration goes toward programs that benefit the community, according to Strople.
“We have a literacy program that we’ve done with local elementary schools,” she said. “Last year we bought books that were printed in English and Spanish for first-graders. We went to the schools to read to the kids, and, in turn, they were able to keep a book for themselves.”
The club also cooks dinner for the Volunteers of America Youth Center, a homeless youth shelter in Salt Lake City, Strople said.
“Our club is more about being out on the front lines,” she said. “It’s a scary time for people, because there are so many people who are lacking basic necessities now. So the more we can step in, the better.”
The thought of canceling the Bark City 5K wasn’t an option, Strople said.
“This has been an annual event for many years, and Twilight took it over last year,” she said. “With COVID happening this year, we knew we couldn’t do it in person, but we’d seen a lot of great interest in virtual races. So we thought, ‘why not?’”
Strople said the club prefers people run in the morning between 6 a.m. and noon, so they can get their stats posted in a timely manner.
“We won’t necessarily have a winner, but it will be fun to give people a reason to go out and run,” she said. “People love their dogs in this town. So the fact they can go out and run with their dogs and take photos with them is another way to get community involvement.”
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Park City resident Anna Robertson’s Earth Day gift is a “Climate of Hope” that is streaming on Hulu.