By Amanda Burke
Despite cool temperatures and steady rain, ultrarunner Scott Jurek and Team Nature came out Sunday, April 22, to run the 10-mile and 5-kilometer races during the 28th annual GW Parkway Classic (see photos).
Held in Alexandria on Earth Day, the race helped to raise awareness and funds for conservation. The Nature Conservancy served as Pacers Events’ exclusive environmental charity partner for the race.
Making the most of the area’s dedicated runners, the Conservancy’s recently organized Team Nature is a running group dedicated to encouraging people to get outside, stay healthy and raise money for Conservancy programs such as Chesapeake Bay restoration.
Upon finishing the 10-miler, Team Nature runner and fundraiser Keith Baldwin said he was inspired to run regardless of rainclouds. Keith said he loves “the outdoors and was looking for a good way to honor Earth Day.”
He also noted that he takes time during his day to be mindful about the environment: “Whether it’s turning off lights, recycling, or switching to energy efficient bulbs, we can all do something.”
Erin Dove, a 5-kilometer participant and North Carolina native, said she hoped that, by wearing her bright-green Team Nature member shirt in the race, she would help raise awareness for all the great work with which The Nature Conservancy is involved.
Besides raising awareness, Team Nature runners directly raised more than $7,600 in sponsorships, helping fund ongoing restoration projects such as planting baby oysters (known as spat) in Chesapeake Bay tributaries.
Check out our Earth Day rewind video to meet some of our Team Nature runners.
Interested in learning about how you can protect our planet when you run? You can still show your support for our Team Nature Parkway Classic runners. And this fall, Team Nature will be tackling the challenging Marine Corps Marathon.
Join Team Nature for a healthy planet and a healthy you!