How Virtual runs work

Winnie Kosgey participating in the Ottawa 10K virtual run
Virtual runs are running competitions that are organized by race organizers in their own countries, but runners everywhere in the world are able to participate in them without having to travel there. A runner can just find an ideal route for themselves, measure and run the race distance and then submit the results electronically to the race organizers.

2.       What equipment do athletes need?

Runners will need to have a GPS enabled sports watch, or even a smart phone. They should be able to synch their race results after their run to a running App, like Strava, Garmin Connect, among others, and it will be easier to transfer them to the race organizers from there.

3.       How do low altitude areas work different from high altitudes?

At the moment, there are no measures in place to ensure a level playing field for runners running at higher altitude against those running at a lower altitude. So, it remains a challenge. But, who knows? The others at the lower altitudes could also be complaining that they do not get chances to travel and train at high altitudes!

Another challenge here will be the route elevation as well. Some runners may be running on flat courses while others may be running uphill or downhill.

4.       About my experience:

My wife, Winnie Kosgey ran a virtual run on Tuesday the 2nd of June 2020. She competed at the Ottawa 10k race, which is organized in Canada, where she is currently on top in the women category. The lack of company and cheering makes the race harder, but it is reassuring that all runners are running in the same conditions.

5.       Are more races adopting?

Many more races are adopting virtual running as their only option they now have for runners to participate in their events. As long as the COVID 19 pandemic continues, this will remain as an option for many races. A mechanism needs to be developed to address the differences in altitude and route elevations


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