The advantages and disadvantages of the emerging virtual races

Yours truly in training
Having canceled or postponed their events, some marathons, like the Ottawa Marathon, have offered the runners who had registered for their races an opportunity to run it virtually wherever they will be; record their runs on the available online running applications and forward their results to the race organizers.

In such times as these when there are no races around, most of the runners will find themselves easily postponing their daily runs, perhaps deciding to pause running for a while, or even eventually ending up stopping running completely in the end.

However, when one is preparing for a virtual race, they may be compelled to keep training towards their race goals.

Below are some of the pros and cons to the virtual races:

Vincent Kipchumba, elite entrant to the 2020 London Marathon talks about his training amid the COVID 19 pandemic

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Vincent Kipchumba winning the Vienna City Marathon in April 2019. Photo courtesy: Olaf Brockmann

Vincent Kipchumba was one of the elite entrants for the London Marathon that was to take place in April. He was one of the main contenders. Those who know him were eagerly looking forward to watching him pull out a big surprise in a race that was expected to become an affair between Kenenisa Bekele and Eliud Kipchoge.



I remember watching one of the biggest half marathon races in Kenya; the First Lady Half Marathon in Nairobi last month. It was during the last stages of the race when for a moment I had thought that there was a separate motorcycle race taking place. Two motorcyclists were racing along the highway as the helicopter gave us a bird’s eye view of the event that was being broadcasted live on TV. Then, just behind the motorcycles was Kipchumba, doing a solo run. There was an empty road behind him, which rarely happens in Kenyan races.