Whether it’s 5K events or marathons, Sigma Chis have been active participants in running events.


When the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench into scheduled spring and summer races, members of the Sigs on the Run Facebook group, led by Regional Chapter Support Coordinator Chris Hicks, GEORGIA SOUTHWESTERN 1996, known across social media as “The Running Sig,” turned to virtual running.


“With the way [COVID-19] affected the running community, all of our road races got cancelled,” says Hicks. “I had signed up for six different races that were happening between April and the middle of the summer, and they were all moved or cancelled completely. Some of them have given the option to run virtual races.


“I got to thinking, because we had the Sigs on the Run Facebook page, I’m going to see if I can’t put together a virtual race and get the brothers out there on the day being healthy.”


The first event left many participants wanting to make the virtual run a regular occurrence. Knowing that many chapters had been forced to cancel their  Derby Days philanthropic events and  other fundraising efforts for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, Hicks and fellow Sigs on the Run member Tom Hanratty, SOUTHERN UTAH 2015, who is the lead development officer for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, developed a plan to combine outdoor activity in a way that would benefit the important work at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City.


On May 23, Hicks and the Sigs on the Run group will be partnering with the Huntsman team for a special virtual race to help raise additional funds on behalf of Sigma Chi toward the end-of-year efforts for the 2019 to 2020 fiscal year.


For a $25 donation, participants will receive either a medal and an event T-shirt. A $40 donation will provide participants with both a medal and event T-Shirt. All proceeds from the fund will directly support the Huntsman Cancer Foundation.


“The biggest thing it is doing for us is keeping our community, our Sigma Chi brothers and friends engaged,” says Hanratty. “We know that right now with the social and economic climate of the world, this is a way for us to do a little bit of effort in fundraising to make it feel connected. About three-fourths of our chapters had to cancel Derby Days. We will be ending this academic year with a little over a million dollars, but it’s a million dollars less than what we usually do. Whatever we can fundraise [during this event] will be outstanding. The work and the research and treatment happening there is still going on at Huntsman. We’re grateful for this little bit that will be coming in this next month through this virtual race.”


The event isn’t limited to runners. The ultimate goal is providing an outlet of physical activity while maintaining Sigma Chi’s connection with Huntsman during this pivotal time.


“If you want to walk it, run it, skip it, hike it [or] bike it, get out there and be active,” Hicks adds. “How[ever] you want to do your activity, get out and do it. That’s what we’re hoping for.”


For more information on the Huntsman Virtual Run, contact sigmachi@huntsmanfoundation.org