5K run will go on: Benefit for cancer cure is virtual this year

In a year when the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is changing everyone’s life and habits, organizers of the 21st annual Shelter Island 5K were challenged to find an alternative way to raise awareness and funds to support the ongoing fight against cancer.

Thanks to planning, there will again be proceeds to benefit the North Fork Breast Health Coalition, The Coalition for Women’s Cancers at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, and Lucia’s Angels, which raises money from sales of raffle tickets.

Participants don’t have to enter any formal races but can opt to use a treadmill and track their times at; use a Certified USATF course; run in a park with measured fitness trails; or download the free app Strava.

Following a walk or run, pictures and times need to be submitted to

Participants must register. For all information about the event, visit or call Nicole Castillo of WordHampton Public Relations at 631- 774-9499. Bibs will be mailed beginning Oct. 12.

A bib is not required to run or walk, according to Ms. Castillo.

“It’s a keepsake,” she said.

The idea of doing a virtual event this year came from people at elitefeats, the group that has for several years handled timing of runners on race days for both the 5K and 10K, according to Race Director Mary Ellen Adipietro.

“We wanted to continue the fundraising effort this year despite the pandemic,” Ms. Adipietro said. It had always been the plan to somehow run the two decades-plus annual Island event..

“We will continue until there’s a cure for cancer,” she said.

Talking with representatives of elitefeats, she learned that other communities had used the concept of virtual races and the organizing team agreed it was the way to go this fall.

The first 300 participants who register will each receive a special Shelter Island 5K buff, she said. The event is family-friendly and all ages are welcome.

Fees are $25 for adults or $15 for those 14 or under. The last day to register and post times is October 25.