Virtual Run: The New Normal Run

What is running a race like during this pandemic? David shares about doing a virtual run.


Photos David Shum

Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has put to a stop on all domestic and international races. Virtual races have since sprouting up everywhere and executed within one's own space, time and performance.

Some virtual races require a nominal registration fees in return for a finisher medal and event T-shirt upon completion and submission of run time or an upload from a running app. On the other hand, free registration races will award participants with digital finishes medals.  Virtual runs for charity are also a common sight and allow one to make a donation with registration.

Recently, I begun participating in a locally organised virtual race and managed to convince my training buddies to form a relay team of 4 to complete a combined distance of a full marathon. It's flexible and allows participants to complete the race within 14 days window period. For once, we felt there is something to look forward to and brought back the meaning of training for a race. Despite the massive changes, we managed to form 3 teams and execute our core workout following the new normal safe-distancing policy such as reporting our temperature, maintaining a minimum 2M apart from one another and 3M between two groups. Individually, we run separately base on our work-from-home and other office bound work schedules. We planned to race as a team and that helps build excitement, thrill and team bonding.

Therefore, main activities associated with a race are deep rooted such as pre-race preparation which calls for preparation of pre-run meals, the appropriate shoes and apparels as well as shades if we are on a noon run. Of course, we are missing the euphoria of cheering crowd, loud voices from the race emcees, bright lights and the sight of runners warming up at the sides are now in our distant memory.

On the positive note, we are very own race organisers: planning the route, appointing pacers and water pointa allocation as well as pit-stop for our potty needs. It’s hassle-less and stress free as this allows for rescheduling due to last minute work commitment and bad weather conditions.


David is a certified running coach and sports therapist with over 15 years of experience working with running enthusiasts. He is passionate in understanding the uniqueness in every runner and helping all to achieve a healthy and sporting lifestyle. His determination to turn his running experience into information for sharing has led to his most recent work with physically and intellectually challenged athletes in the quest to perform their very best.



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