The South Dakota presidential primary is scheduled for June 2, 2020, considered by many to be “too late” to make any sort of difference. So one would-be race organizer, based in Rapid City, has come up with a unique way to draw more attention to their state’s primary: an age-graded, gender-graded 5k to be run by all the candidates still on the ballot.
The group, aptly named the Presidential Run 5k, faces many challenges, including getting a change to the state’s constitution. But the effort is gaining steam as South Dakotans look for a way to make their primary more relevant. Movement leader Victor Lange credits this post imagining a 5k time for each U.S. president for his inspiration.
When Beto O’Rourke ran the North Liberty (Iowa) Lucky Run 5k on March 16, 2019 (in a respectable 24:15), Lange knew he was on to something. “Nearly everyone can complete a 5k, and if presidential candidates were to train while campaigning, they’d give themselves the gift of fitness. Many runners say running clears their thoughts, and it could potentially set an example even more than a stated campaign initiative. Running is simple, and nearly everyone can do it without much equipment.”
“By age-grading and gender-grading 5k times,” explains Lange, “we can level the playing field. In a 5k, it doesn’t matter how much money you’ve raised. It’s just plain hard work.”
We’ll keep an eye on the 2020 Presidential Run and let you know if it actually happens. In the meantime, though, you can check to see if you’re registered to vote (in Oregon) online here!