For Dawn Angelique Roberts, running is self care. That’s why she tries to get people to put their sneakers on and head outside.
Normally, she spends one day of the NABJ convention running a 5K with conference attendees. But this year, the event went virtual because of social distancing guidelines caused by the coronavirus pandemic. So instead of knocking on people’s hotel room doors to join her, she went on social media to ask journalists attending this year’s NABJ and NAHJ joint conference virtually to walk or run 3.1 miles wherever they are in the country.
An upside of the virtual convention is that participants have the entire month of August to complete the 5K.
That, Roberts said, means no excuses.
The public relations professional has been an NABJ member since 1992, when she started a career as a journalist. She took over the convention’s 5K event more than a decade ago, combining her passion for running and journalism.
Roberts, who lives in Delaware, moderated a virtual panel on Thursday about mental wellness and self care for journalists.
“It was the beginning of a conversation that we need to continue to have,” she said. “It’s so important as journalists are covering the pandemic and everything happening right now. It’s important to take care of us first.”
It costs $40 for runners and walkers to join the 5K and receive a T-shirt, a medal and a face covering. Proceeds also go to the NABJ high school journalism workshop, also known as JSHOP.
Roberts expects about 200 participants this year.
April Rubin is a junior at the University of Florida, where she is studying journalism, Latin American studies and anthropology. She recently finished a summer internship at the Miami Herald. At her school’s newspaper, the Independent Florida Alligator, Rubin has worked as a copy editor, a staff writer and university editor. Next academic year, she will be a managing editor. Reach her at aprilmariane@ [at] gmail [dot] com and on Twitter @AprilMRubin.