Arsenal Events owner Kristen Loescher was ready for a busy spring for her business managing timing equipment for running races across the region. Until COVID-19 put a stop to all the races.

But runners still have to run, and Arsenal decided to do what they do best: host a race.

Virtual races, in which runners go the distance remotely and log their results online, have been a subculture in the racing world in recent years. Now, it’s a necessity.

Arsenal’s “The Run on TP 2020” embraces the universal oddity of this coronavirus era: a mad dash to hoard toilet paper during the pandemic that has left many shoppers without.

Through the end of April, runners can enter a virtual run/walk with four distances determined by the length of a toilet paper roll.

  • 19 toilet paper rolls, or 1.08 miles

  • 38 toilet paper rolls, or 2.16 miles

  • 57 toilet paper rolls, or 3.24 miles

  • And a 19K 

“We wanted to offer an experience that will let people laugh and smile,” Kristen Loescher said. “The race creates a memory and does a little bit of good.”

It’s also raising money for some of the important work done on the front lines of the crisis. 

A portion of the race proceeds is being donated to Mary Washington Healthcare and the Rappahannock Area Community Services Board, as well as Samaritan’s Purse for its international work.

Kristen Loescher noted that runners registering at www.therunontp.com are able to donate even more to the charities after they register, and she’s been excited to see the donations grow.

This is Arsenal’s first virtual race, but it won’t be the last. The company plans to host another one in May. 

“It feels good to be able to help,” Loescher said. “We all have our own unique ability or something we can do.”

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