Keep your 2020 Season Going from Home – with Our Pick of the Best Virtual Races
So, most of your races got cancelled this year, or at the very least postponed. From small city 10ks, to the legendary Abbott World Marathon Majors; it is fair to say that the entire running community has felt the impact of the global COVID – 19 pandemic. But, even if your season hasn’t gone entirely to plan, that doesn’t mean you need to let all your training and hard work go to waste.
Virtual challenges and remote races are here. And, I would say, here to stay. With the likes of the IRONMAN Virtual Club, the Zwift tour for all and the countless big city marathons that have taken to the virtual world this season; staying fit and, importantly, adding to you medal collection is still very much on the table for 2020. Whether you’re a total beginner or a seasoned vet, there is something out there for everyone. Most of these virtual events can be run anywhere (including indoors), at a time to suit you. So, all that’s left for you to do is enter.
Last week we heard the sad news that the mass participation event at the Virgin Money London Marathon 2020 would no longer take place. The elite runners only, will now compete in a limited and enclosed course in person on Oct 4th. Participants who are not elite runners, however, can still race. They have the choice to complete 26.2 miles, anywhere in the world, within 24 hours, on Oct. 4. “All finishers will receive the coveted finisher medal and New Balance finisher T-shirt. In addition, all runners and charities will also be able to defer their place to a future London Marathon – in 2021, 2022 or 2023”. The official announcement states. Runners can also use their time, with appropriate supporting evidence, to apply for a Good for Age or Championship place in 2021.
2020 was lined up to see the 50th New York City Marathon. This year marks the third edition of the Virtual New York City Marathon. There are 2 entry tiers remaining, which are both Open to the Public. One is a free option, with no medal, while the medal-receiving tier costs $50 for NYRR members and $60 for non members. There is no limit to the number of entrants, so you can get as many people as you like involved in this one!
You can run your race from Oct. 17 until Nov. 1. To log their race, runners must register through NYRR, and link their NYRR account to the performance-tracking platform Strava. There’s no time limit to complete your marathon, but you must complete the full 26.2 miles in a single calendar day. More information is available at nyrr.org/tcsnycmarathon.
The Medoc Marathon has gained a well deserved reputation for upholding all things ‘the good life.’ That is food, wine, and, of course, running. It is always a sell out event, and a firm favourite here at Sports Tours International. In 2020 the Medoc Marathon will take a virtual format, for the first time in the race’s history. Entry for the Virtual Medoc Marathon costs just 5 Euro, and anyone is welcome to register online. You have 15 days to run your 42.2 km, which can be done in 1 or more days. The Marathon takes place between 29th Aug and 20th September.
Take a photo while you run, and post it to #medocsaison1. The 10 photos deemed most representative of the “Medoc spirit” will be rewarded (the winners will receive a Medoc marathon saison 1 collector tee-shirt). For more information SEE HERE.
For the oldest, and arguably one of the most iconic, marathon in the world, having to cancel for the first time in over 120 years, was a huge blow in 2020. However, a virtual edition of the race, to take place between September 7th and 14th 2020, will now take place instead.
“The world cannot come to Boston this year, so we will bring the Boston Marathon to the world through a virtual experience that captures the spirit, community, and celebration of the race,” said Tom Grilk, C.E.O of the B.A.A.
Registration to the Boston Marathon Virtual Experience will be $50, and will be open only to those who were registered to run Boston in 2020. There is no time limit. Entrants must however run their marathon as one continuous run. All finishers of the Boston Marathon Virtual Experience will receive an official Boston Marathon program, medal, and shirt, among other items. For more info see Here.
The world’s biggest half marathon, and a truly iconic race, The Great North Run was set to host its 40th edition in 2020. Sadly, it will now take place in a virtual format only. You can however, still get your hands on that coveted medal with the Virtual GNR. The Great North Run will return, bigger and better, to celebrate its 40th birthday in 2021. Anyone can enter the virtual Great North Run, which will take place on the original date for the 2020 Great North Run, 13th September 2020.
The event is completely free to enter. Runners will be able to download a purpose made app, which will play sounds from past races, and motivational messages to listen to as they run. You can purchase your event t shirt and medal online, and they will be delivered to your door.
SuperHalfs Virtual Half Marathon
The SuperHalfs was an event series designed to allow runners to experience the best and fastest half marathons, in some of Europe’s most iconic cities. The SuperHalfs cities are, Lisbon (Portugal), Copenhagen (Denmark), Cardiff (Wales, UK), Valencia (Spain), Prague (Czech Republic).
Although very few races have gone ahead in 2020, you can still get a SuperHalfs experience. No matter where you are in the world, you can still put your training to good use and get your race buzz. SuperHalfs and realbuzz have teamed up to create the Virtual SuperHalfs experience. To take part, all you need to do is; run half marathon distance between JUNE 1st and SEPTEMBER 30th. You can do it all in one go, or by combining several smaller runs. Submit your evidence on realbuzz.com. Be sure to upload your selfie, to claim your virtual finisher photo.
Entry fee is €15 and all finishers will receive a Virtual SuperHalfs medal in the post. For more information see HERE.
2020 was set to be the 45th anniversary of the Washington Marine Corps Marathon. Although the race has now had to move to a virtual only format, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate the MCM 45th birthday this year. The virtual MCM Weekend events include the MCMarathon, MCM10K, MCM50K and the MCM Semper Fun Mile. All distances must be completed between October 1 – November 10, in time for the Marine Corps Birthday. All participants will receive the corresponding participant shirt, commemorative bib, patch and/or finisher medal. Runners will also have access to an online event program. Virtual services include personalized finisher certificate, the MCM Audio Experience, and several new digital engagement platforms. Official event information can be found Here.