Town of Vienna to Celebrate 130th Birthday With Virtual Race

The Town of Vienna celebrated its 100th birthday in 1990 with the ringing of bells and a giant birthday cake — and now its 130th birthday this year, residents are challenged to participate in a virtual race. 

Titled “Distance Matters,” the race is inviting all Vienna citizens to walk, run, bike or hike a 130K throughout the month of July. People who complete the 80.8 miles will receive a medal at the end of the month. 

People who are interested in participating will receive a log to track their miles over the course of the month. Miles can be achieved by running on a treadmill, cycling around the town or walking down the trail — participants’ choice. Whatever mode of exercise residents choose, the race is an easy way to maintain a feeling of community despite social distancing restrictions.  

The town was originally planning a large community event called “Bluez and Brewz” on Saturday, June 20, to commemorate Vienna’s 130th birthday. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the idea was changed to something that people could safely participate in — at a distance.

The celebration had included live blues bands, barbecue trucks and more, according to Natalie Duncan, the town’s teen center program coordinator. 

“Upon the realization that we had to cancel Bluez and Brewz, we came up with the idea for the 130K,” said Duncan.

The organizers noticed other jurisdictions holding virtual races and decided it would be a fun way to keep the community participating. “The month of July is Parks and Recreation Month… the 130K is a way of keeping residents engaged and involved.”

Local sports and bike merchants, as well as coffee shops, are promoting the event. While running and biking have always been a staple of Vienna with the Washington and Old Dominion Trail running through town, the pandemic has fueled resident interest in the outdoors, according to Duncan. 

“Now with the coronavirus, people are more open to using the trail and running around their neighborhoods,” she said.

In the past, Vienna has drawn major crowds for town events including birthday celebrations, Civil War reenactments and celebrating the new millenium, according to the Vienna Recreation Program Manager Amy-Jo Hendrix.

“Vienna is such a close-knit town,” said Hendrix. “Everyone comes together and enjoys whatever activities we have going. It’s a lot of fun to put these on and see the success that we have and how it brings all the neighbors together.”

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