RUN UNITED 2020: Virtual Marathon

What’s this event all about? 

The Run United Virtual Marathon is an event to support United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s efforts to close the technology gap for students in Detroit. We’re aiming to raise at least $50,000 to support these efforts, which will help more than 250 Detroit youth with access to laptops, internet connections and more. 

How does a virtual marathon work? 

The “race” officially starts Sept. 16. You’ll have between then and Oct. 17 to log at least 25 miles. On Oct. 18, we’ll all celebrate together (virtually) with our last 1.2-mile run/walk/ride for a total of 26.2 miles — the length of a marathon! 

How do I sign up? 

Signing up takes less than 10 minutes and can all be done at Register, add some information and a photo, connect to your social media and add a fundraising goal. Sign up is open through Oct. 17, so even if the event has already begun, you can still participate! 

I’m not a runner – can I still sign up? 

Yes! The Run United Virtual Marathon is about having fun, connecting with other people and making a difference in our community. How you complete your miles (running or walking) is up to you! You can complete your miles all in one go or one at a time. 

You can also get involved by volunteering to support our education work (remote/virtual options available). 

Do I have to participate in the last 1.2-mile celebration? 

No, you are welcome to finish your miles before Oct. 18 and are not required to participate that event. 

Can my kids participate? 

Yes! The Run United Virtual Marathon is open to people of all ages and abilities. Please note that shirt sizes are for adult men and women. 

Why is there a cost? 

The $30 registration fee goes toward supporting our goal of helping to close the “digital divide” for Detroit students. It also helps offset the costs of the tech shirts and other swag items we’re sending you. 

Do I have to fundraise? 

No, fundraising is not required to participate, but is encouraged, and we promise we’ll make it easy for you. Check out our Run United Toolkit for some tips on easy ways to raise funds, like making an ask on social media. 

There are also tons of other ways to support this cause as a Run United Virtual Marathon participant, like signing up to volunteer, recruiting your friends and posting to social media. All of these things earn you points, and points earn you bragging rights and a chance at prizes! 

How do I earn points? 

By completing activities! Once you complete your registration, you’ll see an option to “complete activities.” All of these earn you points, including: 

  • Posting a photo or video 
  • Signing up to volunteer through United Way’s volunteer portal 
  • Making a donation 
  • Tracking your miles 

You’ll also earn points from the following: 

  • Fundraising
  • Inviting your friends to join the Run United Virtual Marathon 
  • Posting on social media using the hashtag #RunUnited2020 

    I am running one of the Detroit Free Press Virtual Marathon races. Can I still participate? 

    United Way is proud to be a Gold Charity Partner of the Detroit Free Press Marathon, which has gone virtual for 2020. You do not have to sign up for the Free Press Virtual Marathon to participate in the Run United Virtual Marathon, but because we recognize that some people will choose to do both, we’ve aligned the dates of our two events. 

    If you already registered for that virtual race and want to run ours, too, email with your Free Press confirmation number for a special discount code. 

    When will I get my tech shirt and swag? 

    Participants who register before Sept. 1 will receive their packet before Sept. 16. Those who register after Sept. 1 will still receive a packet, but we can’t guarantee that you’ll get it in time for the event to start.