Beyond Celiac is taking our entire 2020 Step Beyond Celiac 5K series to the virtual streets with a multi-city tour for individuals and teams across the country to support celiac disease research efforts. Five event dates are planned between August and October, and we’re encouraging participants to raise funds by running or walking 3.1 miles in the event cities or right where they are.
“Beyond Celiac has joined forces with celiac disease supporters in Kansas City, Dallas and Philadelphia over the last several years to host our Step Beyond Celiac 5Ks, and we really enjoyed getting to know the communities through those events,” said Alice Bast, Beyond Celiac CEO. “This year we are expanding our reach to Boston and Denver and moving the 5K series to virtual events in light of COVID-19 precautions. It’s an exciting opportunity to unite our celiac disease champions across the country with unique ways to participate in 5Ks and show their support for our mission.”
Registration is now open for individuals and teams at https://runsignup.com/Race/PA/Anywhere/StepBeyondCeliac5K for the following virtual events:
Participants are encouraged to run or walk in as many events as they can wherever they are. A commemorative T-shirt and city-specific stickers – including special three- and five-city tour stickers for those registering for multiple events – are available. The T-shirt deadline for the Boston virtual Step Beyond Celiac 5K is August 1.
The team at Beyond Celiac has been inspired by supporters like Brad Tunstall, who spent all of Celiac Awareness Month in May running 20 5Ks for the cause. He ran a total of 62 miles and raised $2,000 for celiac disease research.
“Members of our Beyond Celiac community such as Brad and the friends and family who support his fundraising efforts are the reason we can keep working every day to accelerate research for treatments and a cure for celiac disease so that one day we can eat without fear,” said Bast.
The Step Beyond Celiac 5K series began as just one event in Kansas City, Kansas, in 2017 and expanded to Dallas and Philadelphia in 2019. Beyond Celiac has hosted more than 3,000 participants and raised over $220,000 in just three years at these events.
The mission of Beyond Celiac is to advance research to find treatment options and ultimately a cure for celiac disease, a serious genetic autoimmune disease that affects an estimated 1 in 133 Americans, more than half of whom are still undiagnosed. The disease causes damage to the small intestine, resulting in debilitating symptoms, and if left untreated, can lead to serious long-term health problems including infertility and some types of cancer.
In 2018 Beyond Celiac launched a strategy prioritizing investment in science. Last year, thanks in part to funds raised through the Step Beyond Celiac 5K series, Beyond Celiac awarded close to $600,000 in grants to researchers studying some of the most promising celiac disease science.