Let’s say you were planning a party for 100 people, but at the last minute about 800 more people than you expected showed up. What would you do?
That’s the question members of the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation had to answer. MWR held a Goodbye 2020 Virtual 5K/10K that took place from Jan. 4-8.
“It was our way to reach out to our customers and stay engaged with them,” Gaylene Wilson, recreation division chief, said.
Wilson said they had done a virtual 5K in December and had about 100 people. So when they left for the holiday and saw they had 140 people registered for the run in January, organizers were excited.
When they returned the next Monday, Devin Atkinson, the aquatics manager, checked and saw they had over 700 people registering and emailing in their times.
“We thought something had gone haywire,” Wilson said.
Two of those people were 77-year-old Sharon White and her husband from Oviedo, Florida.
She told members of the MWR team that she had been using a walker while recovering from a broken pelvis since October and thought “this would be an excellent chance to get my strength back and registered us both.”
White also said the two of them had been training at their local mall.
They started by walking 1.1 mile the first day and adding half a mile each day since.
White said the couple planned on doing the entire 5K in one day, ending at the mall where they’d been exercising, and celebrate by getting their COVID-19 vaccine.
It turns out the couple, along with many, many more, had heard about the virtual run on Good Morning America.
The show garners about 3.7 million viewers, according to Adweek.
MWR’s Goodbye 2020 Virtual 5K had 915 participants.
“It’s just the craziest thing,” Wilson said. “I just cannot believe it. And we still don’t know how we ended up on Good Morning America.”