Prisma Health Midlands Foundation officials are moving the 31st Walk for Life and Famously Hot Pink Half Marathon +5K to a fully virtual event in 2021. The change comes due to the rise of COVID-19 cases and the surge caused by the Delta variant. The decision was announced Monday.

An in-person walk and races were originally scheduled for Oct. 23 at Segra Park in Columbia, however those will no longer take place.

“We had hoped walkers and runners could be in person on Oct. 23, but with the latest COVID-19 concerns and alarming patient numbers in our community, it’s best that we move to 100 percent virtual,” said Kristin Hudson, event director. “What matters most is the health and safety of our participants. We’re standing with Prisma Health and doing our part to help slow the spread of the virus in our community.”

Participants can register and plan to walk or run in their favorite places, on their own time, anytime in October. Registration includes a shirt (unisex). Half marathon registrants will receive a finisher’s medal. Registered breast cancer survivors will be honored with a survivor’s bandana. Participants will have the opportunity to choose local pickup or to have a shirt and other items mailed upon registering.

“The kindness, generosity and support we have felt from walkers, runners, sponsors and other supporters is a reflection of their commitment to helping us fight breast cancer in our community,” said Hudson. “For more than three decades, they have helped us honor and remember so many who have been affected by breast cancer and raise funds for the latest technology, programs and services for patients and families.”

The 31st Walk for Life is presented by Dominion Energy and the Famously Hot Pink Half Marathon is presented by Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

Registration for the virtual events is open now through Oct. 31 at WalkForLifeColumbia.org. Fees are taken in the form of donations that will help fund a tenth 3D mammography unit for Prisma Health Breast Center in the Midlands.

Proceeds will also continue to fund post-mastectomy camisoles, post-surgery breast bears and support materials for patients and families.

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