GLEN ALLEN, Va. (WRIC) — The Autism Society of Central Virginia returned for the 20th Anniversary of the 5K Challenge and another year of family-friendly excitement.

Starting on April 14, more than 880 participants ran, walk, and biked in support of the Autism Society of Central Virginia (ASCV) over the course of one month.

This month-long virtual challenge culminated on Saturday at Crump Park in Glen Allen with the 5K event.

(Courtesy of the Autism Society of Central Virginia)

“The day is more than a race; it’s a festival and a place for members of our local community to find connection and support,” said ASCV Executive Director Ann Flippin. “We’re so excited to welcome everyone back in person after two years, just in time to celebrate our 20th-anniversary event.”

(Photo: Tyler Thrasher 8News)

This year’s event featured entertainment, food, a “Kids Zone,” and more.

Over the past twenty years, the Autism Society of Central Virginia 5K has grown from a small venture to a large annual event that attracts over 1,200 participants.

(Photo: Tyler Thrasher 8News)

As the nonprofit’s largest annual fundraiser, the event raised funds for the organization’s work to support, empower, and build connections for our local autism community. ASCV hosts more than 350 programs annually with more than 5,500 total participants–a significant increase since the pandemic.

“In 2020, we tripled the amount of programming we offer,” Flippin says. “We added in new virtual programs and filled a lot of gaps for our community, as local providers and schools had to close in-person programming. We leaned in and supported our families in any way we could.”