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A 5K in your living room

YOUNGSTOWN — The Youngstown Marathon Foundation is offering a virtual 5K during the month of April, in which all of the donations will go to Gleaners Food Bank, a nonprofit organization founded by Joe Lordi that serves over 4,000 families per month.

The race will be all month long, where runners can participate on a treadmill, trail, track, road or wherever they can safely run while maintaining proper social distancing. Those who register will receive a link to share their results, which will be posted live throughout the month with final results showing overall placing on May 1. The race will also be free to participate in, but anyone willing to donate may do so to help out the food bank.

“With people losing their jobs we didn’t think it was right to charge for a virtual race,” marketing director Crystal Siembida Boggs said. “We also felt that runners who had something to give could voluntarily donate but that everyone could have the chance to run no matter their own personal situation.”

Vice president of the Youngstown Marathon board Joshua Boggs said that above all else, the main goal is to donate everything they can to a local food pantry.

Anyone wanting to participate in the virtual 5K (3.1 miles) can register online at the Youngstown Marathon’s website. Those not wanting to participate in the virtual run can also go to the website and click the link provided to just send a donation. Donations can be made anonymously if so desired.

“Within a few hours of posting the event on social media, people had already started to register and make donations,” Siembida Boggs said. “We have high hopes of bringing our community together through this virtual event.”

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