ZGravy Chase adds virtual option for 2020


During the fourth annual ZGravy Chase, participants will be given the choice to participate on Main Street or virtually in their neighborhood.

Proceeds from the event, a race or walk of various lengths, will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Boone County, which serves an estimated 450 residents daily. Event coordinators want to raise $145,000 for the club. The Boys & Girls Club of Boone County is projecting a 40 percent operations budget shortfall in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The club offers before- and after-school programming with transportation to and from community schools. In addition, it provides daily school programming, and community members can participate in sports leagues, summer camps and events. It also provided free meals to families during the early months of the pandemic.

Main Street runners and walkers will start at 8 a.m. with rolling start times to ensure social distancing. The process allows for 300 participants properly spaced at one time for run/walk preparation and starts. Masks are required pre- and post-race. The starting line will be separate from the finish line.

Rob Schien, the Boys & Girls Club of Boone County board president stated Main Street walkers and runners and the event’s planning team are working with town officials and the Boone County Health Dept. to ensure all mitigation efforts because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Virtual runners and walkers will participate where they live on Thanksgiving Day. Virtual racers are encouraged to welcome other virtual racers. Virtual participants can log their times after the virtual walk or run at racejoy.net, and snack and water stations will be set up along neighborhood routes.

Neighborhood ambassador volunteers have been chosen to organize family, friends and neighbors to join routes as small groups. Neighborhood ambassadors will assist in promoting the race route in their neighborhood or community and receive a complimentary race registration.

Debbi Kuller, one of the neighborhood ambassadors, said she and her family have never participated in the event but have always wanted to. When the virtual option was announced, she decided to get involved to coordinate her neighborhood.

“I love the Boys & Girl Club and everything they do,” Kuller said. “I know that they need additional support this year because of the year we’ve had.”

Kuller said several of her neighbors have already signed up to participate in the race that starts on Main Street.

“As we get closer, I’m hoping more people will decide to do the neighborhood one as well because I think we can make it really fun and have some special events within our neighborhood,” Kuller said. “People will realize, ‘Oh, it’s right outside my door. I can just walk right outside on Thanksgiving morning and take a 3-mile walk with my family.’”

Registration for the event is open. To register, visit zgravychase.com.

The cost to participate on Main Street is $40 per person or $130 for a family of four and is limited to 1,000 participants. The cost to participate virtually is $30 per person. Race packets will be available for pick up at the Boys & Girls Club of Boone County Zionsville Unit Nov. 25 from noon to 6 p.m.