Pictured Monday morning is Village Runner founder Mike Ward on bike and son Jon running a virtual test run for this year's Village Runner 4th of July 5K.

Thousands flock yearly to the Village Runner 4th of July 5K in Redondo Beach, but the novel coronavirus has made the run go virtual.

The 27th annual run will not be a competition as in year’s past, according to Village Runner founder Mike Ward, who said participants can set up their own 5K run on pre-measured courses. All timing and recording of the run needs to be done by individual runners, he said.

“Basically people just run the distance with maybe a few of their friends or even by themselves from their home or at a park or at the beach,” Ward said. “You can post your time if you want to brag about your time.”

Ward said because of COVID-19, he has had to cancel six events from March through August including the Village Runner St. Patrick’s Day 5K two days before it happened, and the Riviera Village Summer Festival, which was scheduled to take place at the end of June. The cancellations impacted the nonprofits that the event benefits.

“It’s touched everything we do,” Ward said.

To participate, sign up at villagerunner.com. Pick up a packet at the Village Runner location in Redondo Beach, 255 Avenida Del North, between June 24 and July 3.

Runners who want to share videos or photos of themselves participating, can use #villagerunner4thofjulyrun, Ward said.

Entries, which are $38 for adults and $30 for the Kids Dash, help benefit the Redondo Beach Educational Foundation. Entries include a T-shirt, participation medal, for the first time in the event’s history, a face covering and “We’re all in this together” race number.

Claudette Groenendaal, NCAA Champion and professional runner, will be the event’s honorary starter and host.

For more information and to register online, visit villagerunner.com or call (310) 375-2626 between noon and 5 p.m.

Contact this reporter at mhixon@tbrnews.com or on Twitter @michaeljhixon.com.

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