by Jim Boyle


The Thumbs Up 5K is a hit whether it’s real or simulated.

This year’s virtual 5K held over the course of a two-week period from Sept. 5-19 attracted nearly 400 registrants and grossed over $37,000.

There were 372 people who registered for the seventh annual Thumbs Up Virtual 5K event.

“This well exceeded our expectations!” said event founder and organizer Katie Shatusky. “We normally have over 500 people register for our event, and I was hoping that we’d have at least half that amount register.”

Needless to say, organizers were pleased with the turnout and all the efforts made to raise awareness about mental health issues and prevent suicide.

The turnout and money raised will allow those efforts to continue throughout the year.

“It just goes to show how supportive our community is to Thumbs Up and for mental health and suicide prevention,” Shatusky said.

This year featured a new component when registering, which allowed groups of people to register as a team and raise funds as a team. There were 29 teams that took up the opportunity and they raised $6,226.76.

Title sponsors for the event were First Bank of Elk River and Sportech, Inc.

The event had a 5K course set up for two weeks with the starting and ending point at Orono Park. Lots of people joined in on the virtual component, which made social distancing more of a breeze.

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