American Lung Association to Host Virtual Event for Nation’s Oldest Half Marathon, Due to COVID-19 

Runners Across U.S. Raise Funds for Lung Health and COVID-19 Research  

For the past 58 years, runners have flocked to Delaware from around the country to raise money for the American Lung Association's lung health mission while taking on the challenging and scenic American Lung Association 8K & Virtual Half Marathon (formerly known as the Caesar Rodney Half Marathon) course throughout Wilmington. This year, the American Lung Association will host a new version of the beloved event on June 12th, with virtual and in-person opportunities for participants.
The event has undergone much change this year with the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the social justice movement and the Lung Association's significant brand refresh. Changes include a shift to virtual, a new name, a new location and a new 8K race. The American Lung Association 8K & Virtual Half Marathon will continue its commitment to raise awareness and funds for lung health, including COVID-19 research. 
As the trusted champion of lung health for the past 116 years, the new name aligns with our recent brand refresh, mission, brand position and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. The pivot to hybrid (with virtual and in-person options) is to preserve the events' historic standing as the oldest half marathon in the country and eliminate the potential spread of COVID-19; and the addition of the new 8K run is to provide an opportunity for shorter distance runners. The in-person 8K event is capped to 200 participants and includes a virtual option for additional runners. This year, the in-person 8K race will take place on June 12th at Bellevue State Park in Wilmington, Delaware where the park’s picturesque grounds will provide a challenging course. The virtual events run now through June 30, 2021.

"The global events in the past year have impacted so many people in so many ways and while the run has undergone several changes for 2021, the mission remains the same—to safely come together and help end lung disease. We are inspired by those who run in memory of a friend or family member while raising awareness and funds for education and research to end lung diseases and lung-related viruses like COVID-19. Our runners' commitment and efforts are instrumental in helping the nearly 37 million Americans living with lung disease, including 129,866 Delawareans," said American Lung Association Chief Mission Officer Deborah Brown.

American Lung Association 8K & Virtual Half Marathon Registration Details: 

In-Person 8K:  Registration Is $45 and ends June 9, 2021. Event start time Is 8:30 a.m. EST and ends at 1:00 p.m. EST. Register at

Virtual Half Marathon and Virtual 8K:  Half Marathon registration is $65 and the Virtual 8K is $45. Registration is open now through June 12, 2021 with Early Bird savings opportunities. Miles can be completed wherever you like by June 30, 2021. Time the race on our own or through your favorite app. Race swag will be mailed starting In May. Register at

Participants can run virtually with friends and track miles. The Racejoy app information will be sent to registered runners to use for an interactive race experience for live and virtual running that includes Cheer Sending by remote spectators, progress alerts at every mile and automated virtual results submission and race monitoring tools.

The event supports the American Lung Association's $25 million initiative to end COVID-19 and defend against future respiratory virus pandemics. The initiative includes allocating funds to provide free lung health education and masks to those in need. Advocacy efforts will focus on addressing racial health disparities and ensuring all Americans have access to quality and affordable healthcare. 

The American Lung Association 8K & Virtual Half Marathon is sponsored by M&T Bank, Renewal by Andersen, Dr. Anthony Vasile, and media sponsor Mix 99.5 WJBR. For media interested in speaking with an expert about the event, a lung health expert or lung champion, contact Val Gleason at [email protected] or 717-971-1123. 

For more information, contact:

Valerie Gleason
[email protected]

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