The winter can get long for runners. With fewer racing opportunities, challenging weather conditions and now more COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, it can be difficult to stay motivated and push yourself out the door for a run. Whether you’re a veteran runner looking to stay on-track this winter, or a beginner runner who’s trying to establish a new running routine, these four virtual challenges will help runners of all abilities to keep running through the cold winter months.
From January 1 to 31, the Canada Running Series is challenging runners across the country to set a goal and run or walk as many kilometres as they can. As you crush those KM’s, you will receive achievement badges along the way.
The cost to sign up is $35, which gives you access to the digital January calendar to keep track of your kilometres and plan out your activities, as well as access to the virtual challenge platform. For an extra $20, you’ll receive a race kit that includes a five-panel running hat and an achievement badge based on the number of kilometres you complete, which will be given to you at the end of the challenge.
Throughout the challenge, participants are encouraged to support The CRS’s charity partner, the Trans Canada Trail. We’re already a few days into January, but it’s not too late to get started. If you’d like more information or want to register, click here.
The Maddie Project Goggins Challenge
Back for another year, organizers have set up a virtual “Goggins Challenge” that will double as a fundraiser for The Maddie Project, a charity in association with North York General Hospital that focuses on youth mental health. From March 4-6, participants will run or walk 4 miles (6.4 km) every 4 hours for 48 hours, a grueling challenge originated by American ultrarunner David Goggins.
Last year, the challenge raised $110,000 for youth mental health. There is no entry fee, but each participant is encouraged to raise a minimum of $250 to support youth mental health at North York General Hospital (NYGH). All participants will receive a certificate of completion following the event and individuals who raise $250+ will receive a Push ‘Your’ Limits swag bag.
To learn more or to register for the challenge, click here.
Women Set the Pace /100
After the success of last year’s Run 416 Challenge, the Toronto Women’s Series is back with a new challenge: the Women Set the Pace /100. The goal is to complete 100 activities between January 1 and April 30, 2022. Participants can choose whichever activities they wish, including running, walking, swimming, cycling, skating, yoga or hitting the gym.
All participants receive a free race kit, which includes a custom pair of socks, a training log to track your activities, a journal, keychain, a $25 Asics e-card, a 90-day free trial to the Runkeeper Go training app and more.
To learn more or to register, click here.
The Great Canadian Crossing
In 2022, The Five Peaks Running Series is challenging Canadians to run, walk, ride or multi-sport across the entire country or the province(s), territory or territories of their choice before Canada Day 2022. For the multi-sport option, you can choose any self-propelled motion to get across the country, including skiing swimming, hiking, snowshoeing… whatever gets you excited to get moving.
Participants can choose to go all the way across Canada (4,800 km), or opt for single-provinces (ranging from 128 km for P.E.I. to 1,091 for Ontario). Every time you log your activity, you’ll be able to see your progess and how you stack up against others who are tackling the same challenge. Once you have completed the challenge, a custom finisher’s medal will be mailed to you. Registration fees range from $65 for a single province to $85 for the entire country.
For more information or to register, click here.