Runners around Roanoke contribute to the community through the virtual Drumstick Dash

Roanoke Valley News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — There’s nothing like tradition for runners who do not need the sun to hit the pavement.

“We run almost every local running event,” said one of those runners, Jim McKenna. “We have the last 10 years.”

However, this is the second time McKenna is taking part in the Drumstick Dash, a race to help feed thousands of families in Roanoke throughout the year.

“The running community is very much a family. It’s a community.”

That’s why Caleb Johnson and the CNC runners participate in the Drumstick Dash every year, even though this year’s 5 and 8K races are virtual because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“It’s been a strange year for everybody and still being able to have a group that can get together and still enjoy pushing each other while being socially-distanced.”

While some did take this traditional route, the virtual race allows you to run any course you’d like, as long as you reach the appropriate miles.

Even though you might be wondering how your distance can be documented if the race is virtual, the answer is simple: there’s an app for that.

Every runner is asked to download the app “Racejoy,” find the Drumstick Dash, and ask your phone to trace every step you take. That information will then be sent to the race organizers.

All proceeds raised through the Drumstick Dash are going toward the Roanoke Rescue Mission, where food and shelter are needs for many.

The purpose of the fundraiser is the reason why Johnson runs every year.

“Not only physically contribute, but maybe adjust your mindset a little bit and appreciate the life other people may have to live.”

That is also why McKenna is marking the Drumstick Dash on his calendar for years to come.

“How many times in life do you get to do that? Be a part of something bigger than yourself? This is one of those events.”

The last day of the Drumstick Dash is Monday, Nov. 30, so there is still time for you to sign up if you haven’t already.

To learn more about the race, visit You can also click here to register to walk or run the Dash or click here to donate to the Rescue Mission of Roanoke.

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