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Laz Lake’s virtual race has over 18,000 signups

Over 18,000 people have signed up to run The Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee 1,000K, and there's still time for more runners to register

Just two weeks ago, Laz Lake, race director of the Barkley Marathons, launched the registration page for his latest event, The Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee 1,000K, and as of today, over 18,000 people have signed up. The race officially began on May 1, and runners have until August 31 to complete the 1,021.68K route. Although some runners have already been at it for almost a full week, registration is still open, and the total number of participants keeps climbing. Lake’s race is certainly one of the longest on the 2020 virtual event calendar, but it might claim the title of biggest field, too.

The 1,000K virtual route. Photo: Google Maps

The race

Runners won’t actually run across Tennessee, since it’s a virtual race, but their progress will be monitored and updated on a live map of the state and race route. This way, there’s a visual of how far an athlete has come and how much longer they have to go. They will also be able to see the progress of fellow runners, so racers will know exactly where they stack up against the 18,000 other competitors. For people who think 1,000K isn’t far enough, there’s an out-and-back 2,000K option.

RELATED: The longest virtual race yet: 1,000K ‘across’ Tennessee

18,000 entry fees

The race entry fee is $60, and with over 18,000 racers, that’s a lot of money (over $1 million). On the event signup page, there is a donation button where people can give money to help Feeding America, an organization that provides food and support to over 40 million Americans each year. The race webpage doesn’t specifically say what percentage of race entry fees will be given to Feeding America, but an overall goal to raise $100,000 is listed on the site.

In addition to The Great Virtual Race, there’s the Doggie Run Across Tennessee for Animal Shelters. This event is for people who want to run with their dogs (as the name suggests), and it costs $30 to enter. All of the proceeds from this event will be donated to animal shelters in the U.S.

RELATED: Laz Lake’s formula for gender differences in ultrarunning

Registration for the race is open until August 1, but as the website states, “the longer you wait, the less time you have.” August is still a long way off, but if you leave your 1,000K race until the last 30 days, you might have a hard time finishing before the cut-off, so sign up sooner rather than later if you plan on racing.