Cross-Country Virtual 5K & Happy Hour

Coach Sarah Burnell '14 joins Sophie Neems '16 and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations to invite you and your families to participate in the first-ever, Grinnell Cross Country Virtual 5K Weekend during what would have been our 2020 Conference Championship weekend.

Order your very own specially-designed Grinnell Cross Country singlet, and sponsor one for a current runner, too! Lace up your running shoes, spray on some glitter and snap a few selfies before your run. Afterwards, we invite you to post your favorite photos from this year's virtual 5K, as well as pics from past Grinnell races on social media using #GCXC5K. We will then compile the photos shared using #GCXC5K to create a video to share with all of you following the event. And stay tuned for a ThankView request once you register for the race. If you'd like, you may use this link to upload a video clip of yourself congratulating the team for persevering through the 2020 season, wishing them good luck with the rest of the school year, or sharing why you love Grinnell College Cross Country. We will compile these clips together for a wrap-up video.

Finish the weekend strong by joining our virtual happy hour on Sunday to meet Coach Burnell and the current runners, play Grinnell Cross Country Trivia, and share some great stories!

Cross Country Virtual 5k
Friday, Oct. 30–Sunday, Nov. 1

Cross Country Virtual Happy Hour
4:30 p.m. CDT, Sunday, Nov. 1
Virtual event on Zoom

Event Registration

Register by Wednesday, October 28 to participate in the free virtual 5K and happy hour. All participants will receive a printable bib to wear during their run, receive the Zoom link to join the virtual happy hour, and receive reminders and updates before and during the event.

Register Now

Grinnell Cross Country Virtual 5K Singlets

Please head over to the online store to purchase a specially-designed Grinnell Cross Country Virtual 5K child-size t-shirt or adult-size singlet to wear during the event. All singlet and shirt orders must be received by Sunday, October 11 in order to receive your item in time for the Virtual 5K.

We believe that supporting small businesses is important, especially during this challenging time, and have chosen to partner with Awards Unlimited in Grinnell for the singlets and t-shirts. 

Support Current Cross Country Student-Athletes

This virtual event will be tons of fun for all us alums, but let's remember why we're here - to support our current runners! We will use these funds to send our current Cross Country student-athletes a singlet they may wear during the Virtual 5K weekend! With your help, everyone can "go the distance... at a distance"!


Who can participate?

Any Grinnell Cross Country current team member, parent, alumni or friend is welcome!

In fact, invite your family to run or walk the virtual 5K with you! If you are a current student, maybe your parents or siblings would like to run too or cheer for you from the sidelines. If you have kids, maybe they’d rather design supportive posters and a sidewalk chalk finish line for your race.

How can I participate?

Run the race and post it on social media!

During the weekend of Friday, Oct. 30 – Sunday, Nov. 1 share a picture from your run or walk on social media using the #GCXC5K. Or post a picture from your time as a Cross Country runner at Grinnell!

You can also post pictures of any other race-day happenings – pre-race warm ups, posters you and your families design to cheer each other on, your homemade finish line or post-race cool downs – use your imagination to make the day fun for you and your family.

Attend the virtual happy hour on Sunday:

We encourage you to join in the virtual happy hour on Sunday, November 1 at 4:30pm CDT. You are welcome to simply run the race and post your pics on social media, but Sunday’s gathering will be a great chance to meet Coach Burnell and some of the current Grinnell Cross Country runners, as well as catch up with fellow alums.

We will start the happy hour with brief introductions so that we can get to know each other and share a little bit about our Grinnell experiences. Then, we will join in a rousing game of Grinnell Cross Country trivia! If time remains, we invite you to stick around and chat with the other folks on the call.

Grab your favorite treat or beverage and join the fun!

What will the singlets look like?

Image of the Singlets for the virtual 5k. Front Image: Grinnell College Honor G logo with a pair of shoes. Text: We go the distance at a distance. Back Image: Caution sign with the text below: Stay back six feet.

Will there be any awards?

Longing for the days of Top Ten Finisher jerseys and awkward pictures in front of strangers, standing smashed up next to the competition? Well, get ready for some epic virtual glory and at-home Roo-hops to your very own imaginary awards ceremony!

To be considered for a time award, submit your race time with a screenshot of your run on your watch, treadmill, app, etc. to with the subject “Cross Country 5K.” Then, watch the Grinnell College social media channels for an announcement of the fastest times submitted for each of the age groups listed below.

Or perhaps, for you, the joy of participating in the virtual 5K is just what you are looking for and you’re not so interested in timing your race. No problem!  We encourage everyone to join the fun, even if you don’t wish to send in your time.

What if I can’t run right now?

That’s absolutely okay! You can walk the 5K, ride a bike, rollerblade, or participate in any way that makes sense for you.

Does it cost anything to participate?

There is no cost to participate in the virtual 5K and the virtual happy hour. However, there is a cost if you would like to receive a singlet or sponsor a singlet for a current student-athlete. See the prices in the registration form.

When does the race have to be completed by?

All virtual 5K races should be completed between Friday, Oct. 30 and Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020.

Is it safe to run outside right now?

Safety is always our number one priority. We encourage you to follow local social distancing guidelines and wear a mask if you are in a busy area.

For more information, visit Grinnell College’s COVID-19 Resources page and find links to the CDC, WHO, and other government agencies’ websites which can provide accurate and up-to-date research on coronavirus safety protocols.

Questions? Contact Jennie Jackson, alumni and donor relations coordinator, at or call 641-269-3220.