Ferguson Twilight Run will return for its 12th annual run on Saturday, May 15, 2021, with the intention of hosting an in-person event. However, plans will be modified and changes made based on state, county, and city safety guidelines related to COVID-19 at the time of the event.
“Concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic will influence the decisions of the planning committee, especially relative to the health and safety of individuals and the community,” event organizers said in a press release. “Details will be announced after consulting with the appropriate organizations, including city of Ferguson fire and police departments.”
A Virtual Run option also exists, allowing participants from all over the world to support the event and run where they want, when they want.
The 2021 Ferguson Twilight Run distances include 1 mile, 5k (3.1 miles), 10k (6.2 miles), and 10 miles. The event features cheer stations along its hilly route, with a free concert during its post-race event. Participants will receive a limited-edition T-shirt and finisher’s medal.
New for 2021, HOKA Northern Arizona Elite, a professional sports team, are brand ambassadors for Ferguson Twilight Run. The team based in Flagstaff, Arizona, has connections to St. Louis. Its newest member, Julia Kohnen, grew up one town over from Ferguson, in nearby Florissant. Head coach Ben Rosario was born and raised in St. Louis and co-owned Big River Running Company, a local run specialty store, from 2006 to 2012. The store’s race management company has worked with the Ferguson Twilight Run since its inception in 2010.
Rosario said there are a variety of reasons he reached out to one of the run’s organizers, Dwayne T. James, about a possible partnership.
“2020 was a year that forced our athletes to do a lot of soul searching about exactly why it is that they do what they do, and not only what they want to get out of the sport of running but also what they can do to give back,” Rosario said. “When I suggested a partnership with an inclusive, nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote health and fitness, that introduces more and more people to the sport of running each year, in a metro area where we have so many loyal fans, they jumped at the opportunity.”
The pro bono partnership involves the HOKA NAZ Elite team and its athletes promoting the Ferguson Twilight Run virtual race to running fans across the globe, as well as assisting with planning for the in-person event each May. HOKA NAZ Elite athletes will attend the race, engage with participants, assist with the kids’ run, and promote the sport in any way they can.
James said that since 2010 the Ferguson Twilight Run has provided an opportunity for runners of all levels to come together for the cause to support community while encouraging each other every step of the way.
“Our goal has been to provide an experience where seasoned runners are able to showcase their expertise and those yet to experience the joy of crossing a finish line see the possibilities that come with running and walking,” James said. “We are so happy to partner with the HOKA NAZ Elite team to be able to share this vision to an extended audience while still focusing on community.”
The Ferguson Twilight Run began as a local 5k and has grown into an award-winning event with more than 15,000 total participants since inception. The event incorporates the historic neighborhoods, diverse community, and unique history of the City of Ferguson along with a collaborative spirit.
The run benefits local nonprofits providing programs and events that showcase the enjoyable, healthy, and sustainable aspects of fitness activities. Additional collaborators include Emerson Electric (a Fortune 500 Company), Negwer Materials (a Ferguson Business for more than 100 years), Express Scripts, and the Ferguson Brewing Company — a great place for a post-race drink.
For more info visit fergtwilightrun.com.