If your motivation is waning after months without races, the Great European 2,500 could be the slump-buster to get you excited to run again. The virtual race is a 2,500K run for teams of up to six, 12 or 24 people with a route that starts at Buckingham Palace in the U.K. and weaves through eight countries before its finish line in Budapest, Hungary. In the year when you can’t travel wherever you would like for a race, you can participate in a virtual run through some of the best places Europe has to offer. The event starts on October 3, and teams have until December 3 to collectively complete the 2,500K run.
How it works
“Run anywhere,” a promotional video for the event says, “and race across Europe.” You don’t even have to run, actually. Organizers say any time you travel by foot — whether that’s on a training run, a walk with your dog or a hike — you can log your mileage. Using any tracking app you like, from Strava to MapMyRun or something else, participants track their individual kilometres and upload them to the race website. If you don’t have a GPS watch or a phone to track mileage, you can manually log the distance you ran, but organizers note this is not encouraged.
Teams are split into groups based on the number of members and their genders. There are open (more than 50 per cent male), female and co-ed (at least 50/50 men and women) categories, and teams can have up to six, up to 12 or up to 24 racers (although you can have fewer participants than the total allotment in each category, such as four runners in the “up to six” division). As you and your teammates log your runs, you’ll be able to see your progress on a map of Europe and where you stand compared to the rest of the field.
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You have two months to complete the 2,500K route. Registration for this event closes on October 24 at 11:59 p.m. If you want to race but can’t find anyone to run with, organizers recommend visiting the Great European 2,500 Facebook page to find any teams who are looking for extra runners.
What you’ll “see”
Race organizers will follow along as each team runs across Europe, highlighting different parts of the virtual route along the way. For example, the route takes runners through Paris and by the Eiffel Tower, over the Swiss Alps, past former Olympic sites in Germany and so many other global attractions. You won’t be there in person, but you can learn about the different places you run by, even if it is virtual.
To learn more about the race and to sign up, click here.