Participants in the second annual "Tax Day" 5-kilometer road run/walk did not show up at a specific location or venue to traverse a common course, but, instead, entered a new normal realm of competition — that of virtual reality.

In a creative way to hold a road race during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, officials of the second annual "Tax Day" 5-kilometer road race on Saturday, April 11 had participants run/walk the 3.1-mile distance on their treadmills or outdoors on their own course — practicing safe social distancing at the same time, of course.

Lucas McNelly, director of the One Community Many Voices fundraising event, said from what he could "track down in my pockets of electricity" following recent wide-spread area power outages that seemingly added insult to injury during these scary, uncertain times, the event had 12 registrants as seven ran.

"It's a very strange time, but we love our community of runners and we can't wait to see them all in person at a race on the other side of this," McNelly said.

The following are those who registered for the race, their towns/cities of residence and run/walk time where applicable:

Ronald Stevenson, Knox, 22:09; Dale Turner, Waldoboro, 26:02; Laura Buxbaum, Waldoboro, 27:50; Hannah Meneses, Newcastle, 28:17; Kassie Lincoln, Damariscotta, 32:03; Dawn Preston, Belfast, 46:26; Maurita Lord, Waldoboro, 48:08; Angela Poland, Walpole; Kate Dunstan, Pemaquid; Stephanie Guite, Southport; Elise Kaserman, Union; and Amber Wheaton, Lincolnville.

McNelly said Buxbaum ran with her dog and was on pace for a personal-best time, but got tangled and tripped by her canine companion.

The race had gone from an in-person event to one completely virtual due to the social distancing being practiced for the on-going global health concerns over the coronavirus.

The second annual event was to take off at 9 a.m. on April 11 at Hybrid Fitness in Thomaston. However, McNelly said the event was done virtually by runners at any point that day on their desired course.

The "Tax Day" race looked different from last year for runners, but it took off and finished.

The event was part of the Midcoast Race Series and organized by and benefits the local non-profit One Community Many Voices.

The race typically had a runner who bore the name "Tax Man," and all other runners began the race a little more than four minutes ahead of the "Tax Man." If runners could keep their distance from this designated person, and not get "caught," they won a prize.

However, as the race went completely virtual, the "Tax Man" was sent packing.

After runners ran or walked their 3.1-mile distance they emailed their result to McNelly at lmcnelly@gmail.com.

"So people can do the virtual race on April 11 wherever they want — ideally at home, practicing social distancing," McNelly said before the event. "It's a great way to get out of the house and get some exercise while still doing something for a good cause like OCMV."

McNelly said people can join the Strava group, "which is a nice way to stay connected to other runners in the area in a venue where we can motivate each other:" Go to strava.com/clubs/OCMV or post results/photos to the Facebook page: facebook.com/MidcoastRaceSeries.

"The COVID-19 virus has changed everything about our lives," McNelly said. "We're all learning as we go how to stay active, stay connected and still help those in our community who need it the most. Our goal with changing the 'Tax Day' 5K to a virtual race is to give people a way to do that in a safe way and we're hoping we can encourage people to stay socially connected while physically being apart."

Funds raised at the "Tax Day" 5K go to the 501c3 Non-Profit, One Community Many Voices (ocmv.org). OCMV provides gap funding through a model called: The Art of Good Fellowship – Paying it Forward One Neighbor at a Time.

The model creates pathways that meet people where they are to resolve a barrier related to employment/skill building, youth aspirations, elderly independent living, transportation, or well-being as quickly as possible.

OCMV collaborates with Hospitality House, Making Community Happen (Meals on Wheels), Rockland and Waldoboro police departments, Knox County Community Health Coalition, Trekkers, Pen Bay YMCA and The Shields Project. OCMV is a place for these agencies to turn to for simple human solutions to barriers when they have no other means to help an individual that meets the criteria.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.