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On Your Mark: Liberty community invited to join Celebrate Liberty 7.1K virtually or in person

Liberty University’s Alumni Relations and Campus Recreation offices are co-sponsoring the second annual Celebrate Liberty 7.1K today, June 28-July 4, a virtual and in-person race to unite alumni, online students, faculty and staff, and friends of Liberty from all over the world. While numbers are still growing, participants have already registered from 24 states and in Europe.

Katy Clay, director of Outdoor Recreation, said the offices hope to make the Celebrate Liberty 7.1K a regular race every year to engage alumni and students who are not on campus.

“The purpose is to gather Liberty people from all over the world and to unite in the common interest of running, whether that’s trail running or street running,” she said. “The race is pretty unique because it offers a fully virtual option.”

Last year, 150 alumni participated with an additional 60 to 70 runners who were either Liberty students, staff, faculty, or public participants not associated with Liberty. Clay is expecting a similar or bigger turnout this year.

The goal is to recognize people from all periods of time at Liberty.

“So often when people think about Liberty, they just think about the students and the faculty who currently work here,” Clay said. “We want to partner up and recognize that Liberty is so much more than that. It includes all the people who have been part of Liberty in the past. Whether that was a fully online experience or on campus 20 years ago, 40 years ago, or even last year, they are still just as important to the Liberty community as the active students, staff, and faculty are.”

Participants of Celebrate Liberty 7.1K receive a Challenge Coin for completing the race.

“As this event enters its second year, the LU Alumni office is proud to be one of the co-sponsors,” added Director of Alumni Engagement Greg Tilley. “This is another opportunity for our great alumni community from all over to join and share their passion and affinity for their alma mater as we all celebrate our country’s independence.”

Even though virtual and in-person runners must complete the 7.1K all at once, they can choose any day from June 28-July 4 to do it. Runners will receive Challenge Coins for participating, and giveaways are planned on Liberty’s social media accounts.

Virtual participants can use the RaceJoy app to track their time, receive live updates, see their ranking, and utilize an interactive course map. The app even includes remote spectator cheering, so loved ones and fellow runners can show their support virtually.

While runners can choose their own location for the race, Campus Recreation is offering a course for local runners who want to participate on campus. The 4.4-mile course encompasses part of the Liberty Mountain Trail System and starts and ends at Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre; it will be marked with blue streamers and red-and-white flags. For those who want to run the course together, Campus Recreation staff will have a start line and arch set up for runners on July 4, from 8 a.m. to noon, and families and friends are invited to be a part of the cheering section as they start and finish. Refreshments and light breakfast foods will be provided.

Registration will be open through the final day of the race, and participants are encouraged to join the Celebrate Liberty 7.1K Facebook group to engage in a community of support.


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