Plans for staggered start times and distancing protocols put in place by organizers of the Bolt for the Heart 5K Family Run/Walk and inaugural Half Marathon meet guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to the LaPorte County Health Department.

The event is set for Sunday, Sept. 27, at Washington Park in Michigan City, with the Half Marathon starting at 8AM and the 5K start times at 8:30AM and 9AM. One hundred percent of the net proceeds from sponsorships and tax-deductible registrations will go to purchasing AEDs (automatic external defibrillators) to be placed into LaPorte County first responder vehicles.

A letter to race organizers from county officials states that the race plans meet suggested guidelines put forth by the CDC and county Health Department.

As the presenting sponsor of Bolt for the Heart – LaPorte County, Franciscan Health is committed to keeping race participants healthy and safe, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Adjustments to the race will include social distancing, hand sanitizing, face masks, as well as a virtual race option.

Online registration and sponsorship options for the Bolt for the Heart Family 5K/Half Marathon will be available at Those who register before Sept. 18 will receive a T-shirt and race medal.

Bolt for the Heart is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that raises money through generous sponsors like Franciscan Health, donations and family 5Ks/half marathons to buy AEDs for first responders.