Anybody who works remotely can tell you that alongside the myriad perks, there are a couple of drawbacks. For starters, primarily working by oneself can get — well — lonely. Additionally, while a commute of “roll out of bed and fire up the computer” can’t be beat, we still need to get out of the house at least every once in a while. (Vitamin D is important, after all.) That’s what Cantilever had in mind when we came up with the idea for The Remote Worker Locationless 5K: emotional, mental, and physical health.

“Our hope with the remote 5k was to inspire our remote community to get outside together in a way only remote workers could. We wanted our community to think beyond the perceived limits of their situation and realize their community was capable of something like this even though we were all in separate places.”
(Nikki Munson, Operations Director at Cantilever)

With the initial idea in mind, Cantilever branched out and invited our friends over at Workplaceless to participate in planning the event. They jumped in and brought their extensive network with them.

“At the time we were running a networking series on the health, safety, and wellness of remote professionals, so we were excited to turn our conversations into an actual event that could strengthen our community while encouraging all of us to get outside and away from our regular desk routines.”
(Jacqueline Zeller, CMO at Workplaceless)

The planning team reached consensus for Saturday, October 11, 2019 at 12:15PM (eastern): people would unite, independently, in their own locations, to complete a 5K at their own pace. Participants would come together not only in the spirit of knowing that they were all doing the same thing at the same time, but they would also be able to connect via a Zoom web conferencing room that was opened for the event. After seeing posts about the event on social media, ten sponsors joined the team, providing further promotion on their social media accounts.

A screenshot of a tweet by Teresa Douglas saying “I ran the #remote5k2019. My phone may have died at the end, but I didn't. It was nice to have virtual running buddies on this gorgeous day”

The event was a smashing success. Although the locations spread across the world (with participants in Europe and Asia) Saturday dawned sunny (albeit downright cold in some climes). More than 20 people “met” and enjoyed getting some exercise in the beautiful, crisp autumn weather, sharing their progress on Twitter and Instagram posts marked by #Remote5K2019. Participants ran, walked, or swam the distance. Workplaceless’ Jacqueline Zeller provided awards to the top finishers and also issued some more creative distinctions like “Most Vocal During the Race.” Most importantly, however, people had fun.

“My highlight was Andrew joking around the entire time and trying to keep his phone attached to a hat.”
(Ty Fujimura, CEO and Founder at Cantilever)

A screenshot of a tweet by Andrew Heins saying “I kludged a thing together for #remote5k2019”

After the race ended, event participants and planners alike expressed a desire to do it again. Based on this feedback, we at Cantilever plan on making this an annual event. So, whether you joined in the inaugural race or are sad that you missed out, you can be sure to look forward to #Remote5K2020, coming to wherever you are this autumn.


Edited by Ty Fujimura
CEO & Founder at Cantilever