Runners Help Raise $35,000 for the Allegheny Trail Alliance by Completing 150-Mile Virtual GAP Relay Presented by UPMC Health Plan
August 28, 2020
Donation will help support, improve and care for the Great Allegheny Passage
PITTSBURGH – This summer, a record 125 teams completed the 150-mile Virtual GAP Relay presented by UPMC Health Plan and helped raise a record $35,000 for the Great Allegheny Passage. The event inspired runners from 33 states plus Germany and Canada to challenge their friends, family and running clubs to “race together while apart” and keep moving this summer despite cancelled in-person races.
“We were thrilled that more runners than ever before wanted to participate in the virtual edition of the GAP Relay presented by UPMC Health Plan and help support the Great Allegheny Passage,” said Troy Schooley, P3R CEO. “With runners’ support this year, we were able to donate a record amount to the Allegheny Trail Alliance.”
The virtual race challenged teams of 4, 6 or 8 to run the 150-mile distance from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, MD. Teams chose how they split the 24 legs of the relay, which ranged in distances from 2.5 to 11.5 miles. Completing their legs anytime from June 19 – August 14, individualsran wherever was safest for them including trails, sidewalks, tracks and treadmills. Participants were able to still experience the Great Allegheny Passage in “virtual reality” videos that showed what it’s like to run the course at 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12 minute-per-mile paces.
“UPMC Health Plan is pleased to sponsor this year’s GAP Relay, a truly community-wide event where participants inspired their friends, family and co-workers to join themto get outside and live active, healthy lifestyles,” said Dr. Ellen Beckjord, Associate Vice President of Population Health and Clinical Affairs at UPMC Health Plan. “Sponsoring the GAP Relay is an important component of UPMC Health Plan’s ongoing efforts to encourage people of all ages to increase their physical fitness.”
Many runners have been running solo while they have been socially distancing and have missed their running clubs and training groups. This year’s race gave them a way to safely run together again and help each other stay motivated.
“Our team is a group of running friends who typically run and race together, who have been isolated during this quarantine and running solo,” said Adrienne Mitford. “This gave us an opportunity to run together apart.”
Meg Kurdziolek from Pittsburgh ran this year’s GAP Relay with different family members from California, Louisiana, Virginia, Ohio, Maryland and West Virginia.
“There are a fair number of runners in my family, and we usually get together at least once a year to run a race together,” Kurdziolek said. “I think we all liked the idea of doing a virtual relay because it’ll be a way for us to cheer each other on. We are also a family that likes to tackle big goals – and 150 milesP3R once again partnseems like something to be proud of.”
P3R once again partnered with the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) to offset the carbon footprint at this year’s GAP Relay presented by UPMC Health Plan. Working together, they were able to offset more than twice as much carbon as last year’s event, making the GAP Relay one of the greenest running events in the nation.
“We’re thrilled that teams tackled the GAP Relay in full force, and are glad to keep the Great Allegheny Passage open and enjoyable for runners of every ability,” said Bryan Perry, Executive Director of the Allegheny Trail Alliance. “Big thanks to P3R for organizing the relay, and to UPMC Health Plan for backing the event wholeheartedly.”
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P3R is the engine behind Pittsburgh’s greatest races. We strive to inspire any and all to run with us. Best known for organizing the acclaimed annual DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, P3R runs a variety of other high-quality races, events, and health and fitness programs throughout the Pittsburgh region. While many of our races attract some of the nation’s highest-profile professional athletes, we offer activities for all ages and ability levels. Anyone and everyone is invited to #RUNwithP3R! Read more at: P3R.org
About the Allegheny Trail Alliance (ATA)
The Allegheny Trail Alliance is a nonprofit organization formed in 1995 to complete, promote, and protect the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP), a spectacular 150-mile non-motorized path from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland. The GAP is a significant regional asset enjoyed daily by local residents, as well as by tourists who travel from all 50 states and dozens of countries to bike, run, hike, and explore. Annually, the Great Allegheny Passage receives nearly a million visits, and tourism spurs on an estimated $40 million in economic activity among ten trail towns along its corridor. For more information about the ATA or the GAP, visit www.gaptrail.org.