Over the past decade, Colton’s Main Street Run 5K and 10K has become a focal point of the fall in Durant that includes many residents from throughout Bryan County as well as others from near and far.

They participate in the event in memory of Colton Sherrill. The young athlete was 10 years old when, while playing basketball a dozen years ago, he died as the result of an unknown heart defect.

Much like other events that had been scheduled during the past six months, the coronavirus pandemic has put a squash on the festivities.

Instead of canceling this year, however, the organizers of Colton’s Main Street Run have decided to go with a virtual format for the fundraiser.

"It is a very, very tough decision that we struggled with, but it’s the right thing to do," said Dena Sherrill, Colton’s mother, of changing the race format this year.

"We don’t want to put anyone at unnecessary risk, and we think we can still have a quality event virtually," added Trace Sherrill, Colton’s father. "We think our community is behind us and they’ll stay behind us. We are looking forward to doing what we can do."

The nonprofit helps to provide health and emergency equipment to local organizations in need on a regular basis, as well as assists in funding community projects and higher-education scholarships.

The organization recently donated $25,000 to Bryan County public schools for the purchase of personal protective equipment that may be needed during the return to classes this fall.

With the virtual race format, from Oct. 10-17, Colton’s Main Street Run entrants can run or walk any time and anywhere.

Each registrant will receive a race t-shirt, an individually packaged Main Street Muffin and other swag. Medals and awards, however, will not be presented this year.

Race packet pickup will be held Oct. 16 at Market Square in Durant.The area will be spaced out to allow ample room for social distancing. Distribution will take place from 10:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

All race volunteers are required to wear masks and participants are encouraged to so so as well when picking up their packets.

Race participants are urged to share photos on social media using the hashtags #coltonsrun and #IStillRun20.

"We are excited about the possibility of having runners from all over the nation competing," Dena Sherrill commented. "We’re just trying to be positive and hope that this is something that will grow. Maybe we can make 2020 the biggest run yet."

Additional information about the event is available at coltonsrun.com.