Virtual event to take participants around reservoir

In any one activity, even driving, 101 miles can be a lot.

But what if you could break it up on your schedule and benefit a good cause in the process?

Sounds like a win-win.

So if walking, biking, running or cycling is your thing, the Don Mills Achievement Center Kinzua Challenge might be for you.

Sam Sivak said he was approached by Naka King, who is on the Don Mills Achievement Center board.

“I’d recently been involved in a couple of virtual challenges to get myself back into training and they really helped motivate me,” he said. “I went from skeptical to obsessive for a couple of months.”

Virtual challenges are probably something few would have considered before March 2020 but it seems likely some virtual events will remain even as in-person racing returns.

Sivak realized he could create a “custom challenge.”

“I picked traversing around Kinzua Reservoir as it was something to relate to locally, a decent amount of miles to challenge people, and could add interesting waypoint information along the way with facts to do with the building of the dam, reservoir, and area around it.”

The cost is $29 and all the proceeds go to the center, which is fundraising for a fire alarm system. The website for the challenge is https://www.myvirtualmission.com/missions/114329/kinzua-reservoir-challenge.

“If you want to challenge yourself and raise money for Don Mills, you simply pay the registration fee to join,” Sivak explained. This money goes to Don Mills. There are a few levels of registration to join with, allowing you to donate what you would like.”

If you’re not sure what a virtual challenge is, it’s an event where you log your miles – what you’re already doing – and then upload them to the event site.

It is a virtual challenge, so you are not actually going and doing the actual course,” Sivak said. “You can follow your icon progress around the course on the App as your distances are updated. Along the way, you will receive emails of waypoint information to do with the Reservoir.”

Wild Wind Chimney Services – Sivak’s business – and Olewine Financial have donated drinking glasses and medals for finishers.

Sivak said early returns have been positive.

He cautioned that it has seemed easier to sign up on an iPad or computer rather than via cell phone.

“The best part is you are applying what you are already doing to this event, rather than specifically participating in this,” he said. “What I would like to see is friends, workplaces, or groups of any kind making up their own competitions to finish the challenge first amongst their group and create prizes between themselves as well as the finisher prizes we supply. That would make it that much more motivating.”


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