Community holds virtual 'Fighting Chance 5K' to help St. Pete businesses

Posted at 3:49 PM, May 06, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Leadership St. Pete is planning a different kind of 5K, where runners create their own starting and finish line.

Kurt Petersen doesn’t consider himself an athlete, but he said you don’t have to be, when you are running a virtual 5K.

“No one is looking over your shoulder, there is no tape you have to cross, everyone trusts you,” said Petersen.

He is among 150 people already signed up to run the Fighting Chance 5K in St. Pete.

“We are hoping for an opportunity to bring awareness to the small businesses in the community that have suffered through this difficult time,” said Madeline McCarthy, Chair of Leadership St. Pete.

Between May 15 and 31, participants are being asked to run the 3.1 miles whenever they like, where ever they like, as long as they follow social distancing. Then they are being asked to post their pictures and videos on social media.

“We are all going through a rough being stuck in our houses, and this gets people out and it gets people active,” said McCarthy.

The idea is to run past your favorite small business, or in Petersen's case, his own business, Uptown Snoballs.

“You have a hiccup like this, where you are forced to close, we’ve been closed about seven weeks. That definitely hurts the business having no revenue coming in,” said Petersen.

The registration fee is $35, with proceeds going toward the Fighting Chance Fund. They will be awarding some of these businesses up to $5,000 in grant money to get their operations back on track.

“It is definitely our hope that somebody that is running in this race, walking in this race, jogging in this race, picks their organization that they are running for and brings awareness to that business,” said McCarthy.

For more information on the virtual 5K and registration go to