Jordan’s Run the Runway (JRTR) is a 5K run/walk hosted in London, Ontario, Canada in honour of Jordan Strickland. Since 2014, participants have taken on the Diamond Aircraft runway at the London International Airport to support sending kids to YMCA Camp Queen Elizabeth. 2020 was no exception for this unique 5K event, despite the many challenges presented to the JRTR team after the sudden and unexpected onset of COVID-19.
- Execute a safe and seamless event experience for everyone involved in the event
- Raise $50,000 for YMCA Camp Queen Elizabeth
- Achieve $30,000 in registration revenue
- 300 runners
“Amazing event as always. I was very impressed with the organization and the attention to safety! Thanks again to all the wonderful people who worked tirelessly to make this run a reality.” – Participant
- Securing sponsors – Since the sponsorship proposals had just gone out the week before March 13th — just when Canada began transitioning into lockdown — it proved difficult for the JRTR team to find sponsors willing to commit during an unprecedented time.
- Gaining consumer confidence – Trying to market a race that had just opened registration in a time when the country was shutting down was difficult to accomplish. Participation numbers were less than 50% of JRTR’s usual count, despite a monumental effort to instil confidence.
- Trying to predict what’s best for the unforeseen future – Making decisions pertaining to the event was not an easy task. The Jordan’s Run the Runway team felt they couldn’t predict what was going to happen in the next week, yet alone 6 months down the road.
- Securing event location – Convincing their host who relies on a healthy workforce to still host the after hours event was also a challenging task.
- Changing the setup they’ve had for years – The JRTR team had to move their event that normally has an entire indoor component containing washrooms and shelter to a fully outdoor setup. Keeping everyone safe was a top priority for the event organizers of Jordan’s Run the Runway.
- Maintained a safe event environment
- Exceeded goal of 300 runners (ended up with 347)
- Exceeded fundraising goal of $50,000 (raised $51,321)
- Came very close to goal of $30,000 in registration revenue ($29, 850)
“This is biased, as I feel that Race Roster is a partner with us not just a company who helps. We faced these challenges head on, together. I felt that Race Roster voiced their opinion on behalf of the running industry ensuring we remembered that our race could have an impact on the ability for others to host races moving forward. The support team was amazing at helping set up the Virtual race even when i had no idea of what that would even entail. They helped fix our registration page to ensure the links that needed to be there were there. Their responses were speedy and friendly and they listened to the problems we had.
– Christina Harley, Regional Manager, Development at YMCA of Southwestern Ontario
“Thank you thank you thank you! To the race organizers, the timing crew, the wonderful volunteers and all who participated today. A perfect day for a real race. As a runner I can’t express how much I missed this. You guys did an amazing job and had all of us running with a smile on our faces.” – Participant
The Jordan’s Run the Runway team took on every obstacle as soon as they encountered each one.
“We faced our challenges one step at a time, looking at each obstacle just as that, something that was standing in your way from moving onto the next.” says Christina Harley, Regional Manager, Development at YMCA of Southwestern Ontario, “There were lots of events around North America who were putting good practices into place so we borrowed their ideas and published materials to help design ours around them.”
Jordan’s Run the Runway 2020 Plan
The JRTR team worked twice as hard to host this event in 2020. Their efforts included:
- New parking lot procedures
- Creating screening locations
- Creating contactless check-in
- 5x on communication prior to the event
- Giving away branded face coverings instead of shirts
- Ordering portable toilets
- Creating a separate start and finish line/area
- Ordering more tables, tents, etc
They formed a well thought-out plan to ensure the safety of everyone involved in the event. JRTR’s plan is outlined below. Additionally, you can download the plan in PDF format.
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