After 13 years of running, the pandemic is not going to stop the love and the runners in Fruita. The race will go on.

The 14th Annual Sweetheart 5k/10 Run in Fruita will be held this year in February -as it typically is - but it will be done virtually. Virtual 5ks have become the trend in the midst of the COVID-19 which has brought a temporary halt to large gatherings of people.

Here's how the Sweetheart 5k/10k in Fruita will work.

All participants will need to download the Strava app on their phone. Strava is a fitness app that tracks your time and distance. After you run, submit your entry on the sweetheart run Strava page. Race entries should be submitted between February 14 and February 21, which means you can run the race on any day in that time period on the course of your choice.

Prizes will be awarded for the 1st and 2nd place finishers in each category which include ages 10 and under, 11-17, 18-54, and 55+. They also will be having prizes for best-dressed couple, best-dressed pup, and best-dressed family.

The entry fee prior to February 7 is $20 and you can register at the Fruita Community Center or on their website.

I applaud the organizers of the Sweetheart Run for going ahead with this popular event, despite the pandemic. I would hope that other 5k organizers will follow suit for events this year - rather than cancel them - until we can get back to holding regular events. Events like this help give people a sense of purpose during this difficult time when social interaction has been so sharply curtailed.

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