EDWARDSVILLE - RunWell, the sporting goods store dedicated to runners of all levels, will be celebrating its seventh anniversary next month with an event designed for everyone.

The store will be holding a virtual scavenger hunt that starts on RunWell's actual seventh birthday, June 3, which is also Global Runners Day, and last until June 9. The event will be a virtual seven-mile hunt over seven days, with prizes awarded to those who successfully complete the hunt.

"We just wanted to have a different event, where people could do this on their own," said RunWell store manager Jen Schaller. "We wanted to have a socially responsible event," she said with a laugh. "Normally, we'd have a big party, but with everything going on, that's not an option for us, so we wanted to do something everyone could get involved with, get people active, and celebrate the opening of our business."

There will be a lot of custom-made prizes up for grabs during the hung. Everyone who successfully completes the contest will receive a custom-made finishers medal and custom performance socks. Other prizes include custom-made Celebrating 7 face masks, running caps, shoes, socks and entries into the Route 66 virtual 10K run, which will be held later in June. Gift cards and raffle tickets are also included among the prizes.

"It's just about everything that an active runner could want," Schaller said with a laugh.

Registration to the scavenger hunt is $30, which must be done in advance. On the morning of June 3, participants will be finding an E-mail in their inbox containing the GPS coordinates of seven "RunWell Celebrating Seven Years" signs that will be hidden in the Edwardsville area. Participants will need to plot the coordinates on their maps, and then will have to go out to find each of the signs, which will also have gift cards and raffle tickets taped to the back of them. Prizes will be added to the numbered signs each day, and the participants can choose to find all the signs in one day, or spread out their searches into the entire week.

Once a participant finds a sign, he or she must take a picture of it, and in some cases, the sign may be hidden behind an object or in a bush. When all seven signs have been found, the participants will submit their pictures to RunWell, along with their completion time, for additional prizes. The signs can be found in order that the participants decide to make.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, participants are advised to complete the course on their own and observe social distancing guidelines during their searches. They are also responsible for their own safety during the contest, and are also being advised to stay on the sidewalks and the sides of the streets.

Schaller also took time to reflect on the progress the store has made in the past seven years, and it's been successful beyond her fondest dreams.

"The business has come along better than we ever could have hoped," Schaller said. "and our mission is to celebrate, connect and motivate our community."

And even with the current pandemic going on, Schaller had some great advice for runners of all abilities and experience.

"Keep running," Schaller said. "It's a great way to keep physically and mentally healthy, so I hope that everyone's staying active."

For more information on the scavenger hunt, or to find a link to register for the event, please go to the RunWell Facebook page, or to directly register, please log on to the Active website, www.active.com.

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