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Runners start virtual run/walk to ‘conquer corona’
conquer corona shirt

A group of Barton County runners looking for ways to stay motivated and support local businesses during the COVID-19 shutdown have created the Conquering Corona Virtual Run/Walk.

Sandy McMullen said participants can order a “Conquering Corona 2020” T-shirt and then log the miles they walk or run during the month of May on the Conquering Corona Facebook group page. Proceeds from the T-shirt sales will benefit local businesses. Sign-up is open until April 26.

McMullen is with the group Runners of Barton county, whose members are determined to get off the couch and stay active to reduce stress during the COVID-19 response. “Lying around your house doesn’t help,” she said.

The T-shirt features the words, “Conquering Corona 2020 - for the love of our community,” and has a drawing of a walker’s tennis shoe treading on a red and green novel coronavirus image. McMullen designed the shirt with some inspiration from the runners’ group, she said.

“We really want to keep our community united through this virus and to let them know that we are in this together,” McMullen said. She found a local vendor, Identifications, to make the T-shirts, and after that business is paid the rest of the proceeds will also go to local businesses. McMullen will personally handle T-shirt deliveries in Great Bend, probably taking them directly to participants’ porches.

If posts on social media are any indication, this community group will be making some adjustments as it takes shape – such as making allowances for participants who ride bicycles instead of running or walking.

How the money will be distributed is yet to be determined, but McMullen said she hopes to help businesses such as RePerks and Great Bend Coffee, who have offered free meals to senior citizens who choose to self-quarantine during the COVID-19 response.

“God’s going to show us exactly where this money is going to go,” she said, adding group participants will have some input, probably via a poll.

At the end of May, the Conquering Corona 2020 group will have an award for the male and female with the most miles logged.

“We’ll definitely be practicing social distancing,” McMullen said.

For more information, read about the group on the Great Bend Connect Facebook group or the Conquering Corona Facebook group. T-shirts may also be ordered online at