Race #29 – Running for Autism

Race #29 – 15th Annual Logan’s 5K Run for Autism (Virtual)

The Cause – The Autism Society of the Greater Harrisburg Area

DYK? Autism is considered “a complex developmental disability.” It affects communication and interaction with others, and it generally appears by the age of three. There is no known cause.

A few more facts–including one that I found staggering:

  • Families with an autistic child can expect the lifetime cost of care to range between $3.5 million and $5 million. In addition to medical/therapeutic and insurance costs, this includes education, housing, transportation and caregiver services.
  • About 1.5 million Americans have autism spectrum disorder.
  • Autism accounts for 1 in every 110 births in the U.S. and almost 1 in 70 boys.

Logan’s Run is yet another great local race that’s been on my bucket list for several years. Lots of runner friends support and enjoy this race so it came highly recommended and certainly benefits a great cause.

Like many races amid COVID-19, it stayed scheduled but went virtual, so that runners could still support our local Autism Society. They included a fun touch–they mailed our race bibs and autism pins for “race day.”

I have a challenging 5K route that I run often in my neighborhood, to keep my 5K skills sharp–so that’s what I did today. It includes a number of gradual uphills, a nice mix of road and trail surfaces, and a downhill finish.

Ready for my virtual Logan’s Run–wearing blue for autism!

Although part of me mourns the loss of races, the race atmosphere, camaraderie with friends and fellow runners, competition, and the FUN factor… this time of social distancing amid COVID-19 lends itself to solo runs, solo virtual races, inner reflection, and a greater focus on our priorities. My priority and commitment remains firmly focused on “celebrating” my year by helping as many causes as I can… which now depends upon which races and causes switch to virtual formats. My race entries and donations are little, but hopefully every little bit helps.

Worthy causes, like autism, don’t cease to exist during pandemic times. In fact, as our economy is stressed and shifting, I fear that many nonprofits are going to be struggling to hold onto their funding and donations, which means less support to the families and individuals they normally support. Our “new normal” is further complicating their lives.

Running, on the surface, helps each of us to stay healthy, mentally and physically. But when our daily running routes turn into virutal races, the miles take on greater meaning.

Part of my “neighborhood 5K” route

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