(April 30, 2014) -- This May, RAINN will host its first-ever virtual 5K  race to support survivors of sexual violence. On May 31, runners, walkers, and riders of all abilities and from across the country will complete a 5K to raise awareness and support survivors.
The event comes directly on the heels of April’s celebration of National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. This year’s participants are asked to use #LaceUp4 on social media to show their support and share why they are lacing up for RAINN.
A virtual 5K is different than a traditional race, in that it not limited to a single location or route. Participants can complete their 3.1 miles alone, or meet up with other racers using route planning websites like mapmyrun.com  or active.com . The benefit of a virtual 5K is that it is not focused on participants’ ability: All people, regardless of running experience, can join in.
“We are thrilled that local communities are coming together to support survivors,” said Chelsea Bowers, Director of Development for RAINN. “A virtual 5K really allows anyone and everyone to have a role in fighting sexual violence.”
The suggested start time for #LaceUp4 5K is 8 AM local and will conclude when the last racer has completed his or her run. The entry fee of $25 includes a T-shirt, race packet, information sheet and official bib. Each entry fee helps one survivor receive help through the National Sexual Assault Hotline. This is RAINN’s first national virtual 5K, with plans to make this an annual event. For updates and to join the conversation, use #LaceUp4 and join RAINN on Facebook , Twitter  and Instagram . Send us a picture of you in your T-shirt and/or bib, and you may be featured online!
If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence, it’s not your fault. You are not alone. Help is available 24/7 through the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org .
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization and was named one of "America's 100 Best Charities" by Worth magazine. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org ) in partnership with more than 1,100 local rape crisis centers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. The hotlines have helped more than 1.9 million people since 1994. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice. For more information about RAINN, please visit rainn.org .