Though the 12th annual Run4Troops event has been canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization is still asking the community to "Run Free."

In a video message posted to the Run4Troops Facebook page Saturday morning, Run4Troops director Connie Hodge shared the race's cancellation.

"We've been saying that we've been saddened by this, but actually that's quite an understatement," Hodge said in the video. "At this point, we're grieving a bit. We're actually grieving, because we're realizing that we're not going to be greeting all those familiar faces at packet pickup."

However, Hodge's message asked the community to still "Run Free" on June 27 at their own distance and pace to support the men and women in uniform while still maintaining social distancing. 

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T-shirts saying "Run Free" and other apparel can be purchased at the Run4Troops website, and Hodge said the money from apparel sales will still help support troops.  

"We know that we're not going to be able to see you in person, but we want you to get out there, take those selfies, ... and we challenge you to get out there on the trail," Hodges said in the video.

TheRun4Troops website already has posted the race in 2021 will be held June 26. The race typically takes place on the Heritage Trail each year and has over 1,500 participants from across the country, according to the Run4Troops Facebook page.