This year, the Tiger Run is going national, sort of.
In light of the coronavirus pandemic — which has shut down any hope of the normal run as well as other avenues for typical fundraising — the South Pasadena High School Booster Club is presenting a virtual Tiger Run that kicks off next week. Participants will have from Friday, Nov. 20, through Saturday, Dec. 5, to log their 1 kilometer, 5 kilometers, 10 kilometers — or really, any distance, anywhere they might happen to be — to raise funds for the boosters and all of the organizations they support.
“It’s a 23-year tradition and we can’t not do something, but in this pandemic era, how do you do it?” said Bill Buckley, who has planned the Tiger Run for the boosters for three years. “We’re trying to give them the ability to show their Tiger spirit, but in a safe way.”
Participants can sign up for $45, which will help the boosters fund grants, scholarships and projects for more than 50 student clubs, teams and groups that the group supports. This year, participants can designate $10 of the fee to go to a specific club.
Registration includes a 2020 Tiger Run T-shirt, a commemorative sticker and a chance to win prizes from various South Pasadena businesses. For $20, children age 10 or younger can participate in the virtual Cub Run, which also includes a T-shirt.
Because the run is “virtual” this year, participants can complete the event on their own terms — they can map out their distances or even use treadmills at home. Local runners are encouraged to snap photos — socially distant from others, of course — outside South Pasadena stores or other locations and share them on social media, tagging @sphsboosterclub.
Former residents or SPHS alumni are also being encouraged to participate even if they live out of town or out of state.
Buckley explained that it was imperative to have the event this year because Tiger Bingo has had to cease operations due to the pandemic’s restrictions on indoor and large gatherings.
“The Tiger Bingo accounts for such an incredible amount of money each year, so in the absence of that, we made this possible to help the kids,” he said. “We’re hoping to have sports back up in the spring, in some manner. The virtual clubs are still working. Things are still happening, just in a different way. Even though it’s not readily apparent in the community, they still need that support.”
For more information, or to register, visit sptigerrun.com.