By Kate Merrill

CONCORD (CBS) – 2019 was a big year for the Mighty Moose 5k fundraising run. The small community based run in Concord, Massachusetts raised $200,000 for ovarian cancer research in their second year. And then, came 2020.

“We knew we weren’t going to hold the race the same way this year,” Derek Swaim told WBZ-TV.

Swaim lost his wife Jenna in 2018 at the age of 43.

He and his three kids started the race to raise money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in her memory.

Canceling wasn’t an option so they decided to go “virtual.”

Instead of one big race on one day, its lots of little races over two weeks. Friends, families and neighborhoods planning their own small events.

“It’s been really amazing, just unexpected in some really positive ways,” Swaim said.

He added that the format has actually been a big win. With 800 racers, this is no longer a small community event.

“By going virtual, we have been able to expand the number of people who can run and donate, so, in a sense, we are national. We have people from Alaska and California,” he told WBZ.

Not only is the race run all over the country now, the donations are way up. A pandemic effect possibly and something that’s injected new love into this already emotional event.

“We are in this time we are disconnected and yet people are rallying around this cause to prevent ovarian cancer which is so important to Mighty Moose and everyone involved, but the generosity this year has been tremendous,” Swaim said.

They’ve raised $220,000 so far. This year’s virtual race is being held through October 11. To learn more go to MightyMoose5k.org.

Kate Merrill

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