Running enthusiasts from around the world have raised $5,000 (£3,800) for Sightsavers by taking part in a virtual race online.
To join the ‘Eyes of the Dragon’ event, runners pledged to complete either 5km, 10km or a half marathon (21km) within a month by running any time, anywhere – even indoors on a treadmill. After uploading their results, each runner received a finishers’ medal featuring a dragon’s head with glowing red LED eyes.
A total of 942 runners took part, the majority from the US, although there were also finishers from Puerto Rico, Canada, Malaysia, New Zealand, the UK and Switzerland.
From each entry fee, $5 was donated to Sightsavers, with organiser www.virtualstrides.com rounding up the final total to $5,000. This could provide 2,500 pairs of glasses to those with visual impairments in developing countries, or could fund 100 adult cataract operations to enable people to see again.
Virtual Strides founder Mark Petrillo said: “It’s really incredible what we can do for very little cost to give people sight. I hope this money can help to make a difference.”
Virtual Strides organises monthly online running events, with proceeds donated to a different charity each month.