HIDALGO - The breast cancer awareness month is known for holding several live runs and walks and even zumbathons, to help raise awareness of the diagnosis many are affected with. Well there’s a new take on the awareness month that allows participants to run or walk at their own pace by completing a predetermined time and distance when available.

It’s called the Virtual Run Challenge founded in 2017 and owned by AJ Peterson in Vero Beach, Florida. The company’s mission is to promote health and wellness in a non-competitive way by giving back to charities.

“All levels of athleticism can take part in the challenge run,” said AJ Peterson, virtual run challenge owner and founder. “And the main focus is to try to be able to get people to become physically active and reward themselves then find a way to give back,” said Peterson.

The Virtual Run Challenge works by registering on the company’s site and tracking the set distance and time of the challenge event using any tracking apps such as, Map My Run or Nike Run Club. The participant then submits their proof via the company’s website, https://www.thevirtualrunchallenge.com/ or via email at results@thevirtualrunchallenge.com

“They’re more than welcome to walk or run the distance and even split the distance in days just as long as they complete the distance,” said Peterson. “Once verified based on an image or screenshot of their time, we’ll mail out a race packet that includes a welcome letter, bib number and the finisher medal they’ve earned and encourage them to share it on social media.”

Most virtual challenges last a month long depending on the run’s theme and can take place at several locations. All proceeds will go towards charities and organizations when you run for a cause.

“We have different organizations that contact us and we’re going to have an animal race next year that will go towards adoption,” said Peterson. “Last year’s christmas run was themed, ‘Run Run Rudolph’ where all proceeds went to Toys for Tots.”

Two virtual run challenges for the breast cancer awareness month will take place in Brownsville and McAllen, TX starting Oct. 1 - Oct. 31. The run is called ‘2019 Hope Strength Love Virtual 5K Run-Walk’ where all proceeds will go towards research funding, support services and early detection.

To find out how to register, visit any of the following websites:

Brownsville, TX

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2019-hope-strength-love-virtual-5k-run-walk-brownsville-registration-73404628219?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

McAllen, TX

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2019-hope-strength-love-virtual-5k-run-walk-mcallen-registration-73406066521?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

Virtual Run Challenge, FL

https://www.thevirtualrunchallenge.com/