Nana’s Run returns as in-person event

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Nana's Run will take place in person, like the event did in May 2019 (above), as well as virtually. Courtesy Nana's Run

The annual Nana’s Run will return to downtown Grand Rapids on May 1.

The 5K run/walk event will offer two options for participants this year — an in-person race and a virtual race. The event will raise funds for clinical support and equipment for local patients and families struggling with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

“We are very excited to be able to safely gather in person in beautiful downtown Grand Rapids and come together as a community to support ALS patients and their families,” said Sydney DeVos Reames, co-chair of Nana’s Run.

The in-person event will start and end near Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids. Each participant will be provided a race bib that has a chip that will start the race timing when the starting line is crossed. Participants can begin their races between 10 and 10:30 a.m.

“Nana’s Run is a celebration of life,” said Cassandra DeVos, co-chair of Nana’s Run. “It is a way for our community to rally together to help those facing the difficult reality of this devastating disease, support them and fund research to find a cure.”

The course will be modified to include wider paths to maintain social distancing. Additional measures will be in place, including limiting the size of crowds gathering before and after the race.

“The excitement and energy that live events bring to the city of Grand Rapids has been missed, and we look forward to the vibrancy and awareness that Nana’s Run will bring to our community on May 1,” said Evette Pittman, manager, city of Grand Rapids office of special events. “Along with the Kent County Health Department, we’ve worked with Nana’s Run leadership on the mitigating safety measures and protocols they have in place to allow participants to take part in a safe manner.”

Participants who choose the virtual options can travel a course of their choosing and enter their time through the Run Signup platform.

More than 500 people participated in last year’s virtual 5K run/walk event.

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