Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Below is a list of FAQ’s that cover up to date information. Please email if you have additional questions.

What is the NOVID-20 Virtual Run?

The NOVID-20 Virtual Run is a global virtual challenge using Strava to engage, unite, and inspire our running community to keep motivated, fit, and accelerate research for COVID-19.

Why was the NOVID-20 Virtual Run created and what are the goals of NOVID-20 Virtual Run?

The virtual run was created as an agnostic solidarity movement for our global running community with 3 goals:

  1. Engage, unite, and inspire our global running community
  2. Raise funds to accelerate research for a COVID-19 vaccine
  3. Create unique virtual running challenges to motivate runners to train and test their fitness

What does the name NOVID-20 represent?

NOVID-20 represents ‘No viral disease in 2020’ and is our optimistic view a vaccine will be developed in 2020 to inoculate the COVID-19 virus. COVID-19 is looking back, NOVID-20 is looking ahead.

Who is the team behind NOVID-20?

  • Melissa Paauwe
  • Kirsten Flemming
  • Megan MacDonald
  • Blaine Penny

Click here to meet the team.

How do I sign up to participate?

Click here to sign up.

What is Strava? Strava 101, Strava Clubs, and Strava Challenges

Stravaa social-fitness network, primarily tracks cycling and running exercises, using GPS data – although alternative types are available. Strava offers a free service with no advertising in its mobile application, and a monthly subscription plan called Strava Summit (formerly Strava Premium).

Strava ClubCommunity is at the heart of the Strava experience, and groups/teams use clubs to build local and global networks of athletes who love their brand. You can post content, organize events, share a route, promote a campaign.

Strava ChallengesStrava offers several types of challenges as a fun way to motivate people to push themselves and accomplish a specific goal. Challenges can last a day, several days or even an entire month. Some of the different types of Challenges available on Strava are:

  • Virtual Races, segment challenges and the monthly series (5K, 10K, half marathon, Gran Fondo, distance and climbing). These challenges will contain a leaderboard and your activity privacy controls will need to be set to Everyone in order to count.
  • New rotating monthly challenges (Strava Commute Challenge, Strava Walk Challenge)  will allow multi-sport activities and activities with any activity privacy controls will count. These will not contain a leaderboard. 
  • Streak challenges ask athletes to complete a certain number of activities for a consecutive number of weeks and do not contain leaderboards. Learn more here.

How can I start a run in my city/location?


How can I help promote and share this exciting, inspiring initiative?

We encourage everyone to share the event with at least 20 of your closest running friends (and even non-runners to inspire them to run) and share through all your social channels. We also encourage people to share your runs through social media adding photos and video using the hashtags below. We have set up a global NOVID-20 Virtual Run Facebook Page to share stories and are also developing tips and tools to help. You can also connect with local media in your city/location to share the NOVID-20 story.

What are your social media channels and what #hashtags should we use for promoting and sharing?

Instagram: @novid20run

Facebook: @novid20run

We have set up a global NOVID-20 Virtual Run Facebook Page social media channels yet. We encourage you to use the following hastags:

#NOVID20run   #ImmunityThroughCommunity #TogetherWeCanHelp #COVID19response

Why fundraise and what impact can we have through making a donation?

No one is immune to the challenges our world is currently facing. Our vulnerable populations are especially exposed and too many people have already lost their lives to the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to race towards a vaccine together and do everything we can as individuals to be part of the solution. By raising funds, we can help accelerate research to inoculate COVID-19.

Where will donated funds go?

The funds will be collected through the MitoCanada Foundation (Registered Charity) and granted to a research institution(s) to accelerate research for COVID-19. Our Scientific Advisory Committee chaired by Dr. Doug Mahoney has helped us select two projects/institutions that we feel can have the greatest research impact and align with our goals:

  1. Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI): CEPI is a global alliance financing and coordinating the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases. CEPI’s goal is to develop vaccines against COVID-19, making hundreds of millions of doses available through a globally fair allocation system within 12-18 months. This funding and CEPI’s stewardship would cover development to the point vaccines could be used outside a clinical trial. To get to this point at the speed and scale needed, we will need to support clinical and process development in parallel, as well as enhancements of global manufacturing capacity.
  2. The Western University of Ontario co-funded project with the CIHR: Shutting down emerging Coronaviruses in humans now and in the future. The goal of this project is to establish and test an effective vaccine for SARS-CoV-2. In addition, the project will develop a coronavirus vaccine bank containing hundreds to thousands of potential vaccines that can be used at the start of the next coronavirus outbreak. This will give us a head start in trying to treat patients early with the goal of reducing the spread of the disease and subsequent fatalities.

Will I receive a tax receipt?

Tax receipts will be issued for donations of $20 or more.

The donations flow through the MitoCanada Foundation – how does this work?

The donations are received through MitoCanada’s Go Fund Me account. When you donate you will see the following donation entry form. These funds are considered a ‘designated fund for COVID-19 Research’ and will be granted to the research institution determined by the scientific advisors noted above.

Screenshot of donation form

Do you have tips for fundraising?

Our primary goal is to engage, unite, and inspire our running community. The best way to help fundraise is to engage your friends and running community to participate and donate the suggested $20. Secondly, you can share as you feel appropriate to ask others to donate via the Go Fund Me link here.

How can I make a donation?

You can donate by clicking the Go Fund Me link here.

How can I become a partner with the NOVID-20 Virtual Run initiative?

The goal of our partners is to help promote the initiative. Please email to let us know why you want to partner and describe how you will promote NOVID-20 to the running community.

Are you considering engaging other sporting communities to participate (e.g. cycling)?

We think the NOVID-20 initiative has opportunity to grow and will depend on the initial success with running. We have already begun to consider cycling as the next community to engage.

Who do I contact if I have an idea for another challenge or to expand NOVID-20?

We love ideas! Please email to let us know your idea.