In April, Laz Lake introduced the Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee (GVRAT), a virtual ultramarathon that has 1,000K and 2,000K options. That race started on May 1 and participants have until August 31 to complete their runs “across” the state of Tennessee. Now, there’s another enormous virtual ultramarathon: the Great Florida Traverse (GFT). Similar to the GVRAT, the GFT (which has been organized by Mike Melton) covers the distance of an entire state, but instead of Tennessee, this race is the length of Florida (hence the name). Runners have two options for this race: 205K in maximum 92 days or 1,450K in a whopping 214 days. The event started on Monday and registration closes on June 20.
You can go All The Way with Good Mike.https://t.co/6elmlPVjVT
— A Distant Keith (@keithdunn) May 26, 2020
All the Way and Just the Tip
The longer of the two races is called All the Way, and it takes runners the full 1,450K from near Pensacola, Fla., at the Alabama border on the Florida Panhandle, and all the way southeast to Key West at the very tip of the Florida Keys. Runners have until the end of 2020 on December 31 to complete the full distance, which works out to 6.8K per day.
Due to COVID-19, many runners will of course not be able to run the actual route unless they live in Florida or nearby. The virtual route follows the actual roads that a real, physical course would have to follow, sticking as close to the Gulf Coast as possible. All runners who make it to the end will receive a race shirt and medal in the mail upon completion of their runs.
For runners who don’t feel like committing to an almost 1,000-mile run, there’s the Just the Tip race, which covers 205K from one end of the Florida Keys to the other.
The event will raise money for the Brianna Cooper Heavenly Smiles Foundation (BCHSF) and Nala’s New Life Rescue (NNLR), two Florida charities. The BCHSF “provides financial, emotional and spiritual support to parents and families who are grieving the loss of a loved one,” and it was established by parents who lost their 11-year-old daughter in a car accident. NNLR is an animal shelter for dogs and cats that have been “abused, forgotten, rejected or abandoned.” Race participants have can choose to donate to either (or both) of these charities.