Awesome 3000 postponed until August

Books fill the downtown office of the Salem-Keizer Education Foundation on Dec. 17, 2019 (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

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The Salem-Keizer Education Foundation’s signature event, the Awesome 3000, will be postponed until August.

The event, a fun run open to kids of all ages, has been held “rain or shine” on the first Saturday of May for almost 40 years.

But as large events across Oregon are canceled or delayed because of bans on large public gatherings, the foundation realized holding the event at its usual time wouldn’t work, said Kelly Carlisle, the foundation’s executive director.

Current state rules have banned gatherings of more than 25 people until late April to slow the spread of COVID-19. Carlisle said even if that ban isn’t extended, planning an event that relies on more than 600 volunteers is nearly impossible without large in-person meetings.

“There’s way too many ways that we would have to re-engineer all of the lead-up work,” he said.

Instead, the run will now be Saturday, August 1, still at Willamette University’s McCulloch Stadium. The winning t-shirt design for this year, by Sprague High School sophomore Kate Swenson, will still be used. Some shirts had already been printed, Carlisle said, but they only have the year on them, not the original date.

Runners who have already signed up will automatically have their registration moved to the new date. Those with questions can contact [email protected].

The event usually draws about 3,000 kids and teens, and about 10,000 adult spectators over the course of the day, Carlisle said. Until then, he hopes kids can get some running in on their own.

“We strongly encourage that kids and families get outdoors in this beautiful weather and go for a run together,” he said.

Contact reporter Rachel Alexander at [email protected] or 503-575-1241.

Rachel Alexander is Salem Reporter’s managing editor. She joined Salem Reporter when it was founded in 2018 and covers city news, education, nonprofits and a little bit of everything else. She’s been a journalist in Oregon and Washington for a decade. Outside of work, she’s a skater and board member with Salem’s Cherry City Roller Derby and can often be found with her nose buried in a book.