VIRTUAL Stride Into the Light 5K

By Stride Into the Light (other events)

Sat, May 15 2021 5:00 AM EDT Sat, May 22 2021 11:30 PM EDT

Welcome to the Stride into the Light 5K Walk-Run!

After a year of uncertainty, it is more important than ever to focus on Mental Health Awareness in our community - and continue to reach out in any way we can. This May we want to continue our annual Stride tradition with a VIRTUAL Stride into the Light 5K Walk-Run!  We ask you to participate to spread the word on mental health awareness.

As the world continues to pivot and evolve due to the impacts of COVID-19, many have been faced personally with new levels of stress and anxiety. During the pandemic, about 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder, a share that has been largely consistent, up from 1 in 10 adults who reported these symptoms from January to June 2019. As the pandemic impact wears on, we want to encourage people to talk about mental health issues, especially suicide prevention, which is the reason we began Stride.

We have decided to donate all proceeds from this year’s VIRTUAL Walk-Run locally, directly to Family Services’ Samaritans of Merrimack Valley, located in Lawrence, MA.

The Samaritans of Merrimack Valley, a program of Family Services of the Merrimack Valley, is a nonprofit social services organization dedicated to helping vulnerable children and families reach their full potential.  Samaritans strive to reduce the incidence of suicide in the Merrimack Valley and throughout Massachusetts by providing “befriending” to individuals who are lonely, depressed and contemplating suicide or self-injury. Suicide prevention is one of the primary goals of the Samaritans, although services also include postvention services, trainings and seminars, and support groups.

Year after year, our hope is that Stride Into the Light will be one more step towards making it easier for people to openly discuss mental health issues and work towards improved methods of treatment. We ask you to join us and encourage your family and friends to join you in this year’s Virtual Stride Event to support open conversation about mental health issues.

Although we would prefer to gather as a community, we ask you to participate in this year’s VIRTUAL Stride by running or walking a 5K of your choice, from Saturday May 15th through Saturday, May 22nd! And then - join the online community by posting your time and photos to your social media outlets! 

Thank you again, we look forward to Striding with you! Your involvement is critical to spreading the word about mental health and suicide prevention and raising money to support these causes, especially during this Pandemic time.


Anticipated FAQ
Due to the unexpected impacts of COVID-19 over the past year, we do have some changes this year, hopefully only temporary!

  1. What is a VIRTUAL Walk-Run? 
    A Virtual Walk-Run is a race that you can run, walk, treadmill, or bike at any time from anywhere. Sign Up either as a Walker or Runner, within the appropriate age group, and then complete your 5K at your location of choice!
  2. Why does the Website look different? 
    This year we are utilizing a different Website platform, to avoid additional costs now associated with our former platform. We will reevaluate this set up after 2021.
  3. I only want to Donate – where is the Donation Page? 
    This year’s platform does not provide as many options as we have had previously – in particular it means that all contributions to the 2021 Event will be done through “Ticket” Sales. Each option will be labeled with a specific type of Registration option. Ie: Walker or Runner, Donation Option, Sponsorship Options
  4. I don’t want to Donate online – is there another way to support this event? 
    YES! If you have previously donated OFFLINE to this cause, and would like to do so again, please contact us!
  5. Will I still receive my customary T-shirt? 
    Out of an abundance of respect to our community partners and small businesses, we have opted out of soliciting their support this year, as they continue to be impacted. Due to this – we will NOT be providing a customary t-shirt for Walker/Runner registrants. We hope to have an alternative option! Stay Tuned! 
  6. Can I still share this Event with Friends & Family? 
    Yes! Although we will not be formally meeting in person, our goal still remains the same! Please continue to share our event so we can continue to make Strides in the Mental Health awareness community!