ST. THOMAS, ONT. -- As the sun rose Wednesday morning, Angie Mailhot set out on a walking journey around her hometown of St. Thomas, Ont.

"I put my shoes to walk a 12-hour shift which would be a shift at the hospital," says Mailhot.

It's her way of raising awareness for the Railway City Road Races (RCRR) which began Wednesday and will run for 18 days until Sept. 27.

The final day was scheduled to be the date for this year's event in support to the St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital Foundation (STEGH), which has now gone virtual.

"We're close to $100,000 over the past five years since we began the races," says Carolyn Johnson of the RCRR executive committee.

This year participants will be doing either five, 10 or 21 km on their own and trying to generate sponsorship. The money raised will be donated to STEGH.

"We're trying to bring attention because the money we're raising is considerably lower, its virtual so not as many people have signed up," says Johnson.

Fundraising is down everywhere including the STEGH Foundation. They weren't able to hold the signature gala, but will be starting an online 50/50 draw beginning October 1.

STEGH Foundation executive director Jacqueline Bloom is appreciative of RCRR for continuing to find a way to generate donations despite the in-person event being cancelled.

"We are here to help support hospital in needs, infrastructure, education for staff, or just new programs and equipment," says Bloom.

"Health care is vital for all of us, and supporting our hospital is so important."

Mailhot estimates she'll be walking between 50-60 km during her stint from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

During the day she'll be joined by health care workers, ambulance attendants and other supporters.

"The RCRR are still running and it's a great cause to donate to  STEGH,"says Mailhot.

"If there was ever a year the hospital needed support it was this year. For the next 18 days I plan on reaching 100km."

She says people can either sponsor her or just make a donation to the foundation by going to the event's website

"Go online and help because the community spirit and the reasons to donate are good," says Mailhot.