April 21, 2020

SIU is sponsoring virtual fitness events and activities

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale is showing the way to keep fit and healthy even when social distancing.

While facilities may be closed, two special run/walk virtual events are still happening this spring, beginning with the third annual “Out of the Darkness Campus/Community Walk” on Saturday, April 25. The event will raise funds and promote suicide prevention awareness.

Also on Saturday, Recreational Sports and Services will kick off the inaugural “Rec Your Quarantine” double marathon that goes through May 27.

Everyone is welcome to participate.

Suicide prevention walk is Saturday

The inaugural Virtual Campus Walk will begin at 1 p.m. SIU’s Student Health Services and the Salukis on Your Side campus suicide prevention program are again pairing with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in presenting the event.

Sign up now

Nine teams already are registered but there is still time to sign up at afsp.org/siu. Josh Rivedal, a suicide loss survivor and nationally known speaker, actor and author will be among the online guest speakers after the virtual walk.

Funds stay in Southern Illinois

The initiative has raised more than $20,000 in two years for AFSP and this year’s goal is $15,000. A majority of the money raised stays in the area to fund initiatives including the “Talks Save Lives Suicide Gatekeeper” trainings and educational webinars. Fundraising has already secured more than $3,000, with sponsors including Southern Illinois Healthcare, Centerstone, the SIU Credit Union, Pyramid Communications, Striegel Animal Hospital and BPL Plasma.

Once the pandemic hit, event organizers decided to proceed with plans and they teamed with McHenry County and ITT, combining three separate walks into one large event, according to Beth Morrison, SIU Student Health Services assistant director.

Get more information

Check out the Facebook live event at facebook.com/AFSP.IL. For more information, contact Angela Peterman at angela.peterman@siu.edu, Beth Morrison at beth.morrison@siu.edu or call 618/536-4441.

Virtual double marathon also kicks off

Saturday also kicks off Recreational Sports and Services’ “Rec Your Quarantine” virtual double marathon.

Participants have until May 27 to complete the 52.4 miles on their own schedule and logging mileage online.

There’s another twist to this event: participants can run, walk or jog, or complete the miles by bicycling, rollerblading, using an elliptical, or even crawling, according to organizers.

If the weather or other circumstances keep you from getting outside, use your imagination - create a walking path in your house or garage instead walk up and down stairs. The goal is to total 1.74 miles a day, either all at once or in increments.

Online mileage recording

Participants will accumulate their mileage when possible and then record it online via phone or computer. Participants are also encouraged to sign up with a friend, and stay connected via Zoom, Facetime or other virtual method to encourage one another.

Registration is open

The cost to register is $15 per person and includes a commemorative T-shirt, shipped to your home. Register by May 17 to be guaranteed a shirt. More than 50 people have already signed up.

Register online at https://runsignup.com/Race/IL/Carbondale/RecYourQuarantine. For more information, email Savanna Ashbaugh, smashba@siu.edu.

RSS offers other fitness help

SIU’s Recreational Sports and Services is also posting free fitness videos online several times each week to help people stay fit and healthy. Find the videos on Facebook and discover virtual fitness classes and activities online.