Press Release

NN Running

The MA RA TH ON Worldwide Team Relay was a widespread success this past weekend, with over 106,000 participants registered for the virtual event from all over the world. For the past months, professional and amateur runners worldwide had to readjust their goals and ambitions without a clear understanding of when they would be able to compete again. MA RA TH ON was launched to provide these runners with positivity and a chance to come together again in a safe manner. For the past two days, more than a hundred thousand people from over 100 different countries came together to #RunAsOne.

MA RA TH ON was launched by the NN Running Team together with Maurten and NN Group, entities all very well regarded in the running community for their forward-thinking and innovation. The concept? People could sign up to run the marathon distance in a relay format in teams of four. Each team member was to run 10,5km and track their run on Strava. The combined times made up the finish time for each team and could be tracked on an overall leaderboard on To make things even more interesting, each entered team had the chance to be paired to world-class athletes from the NN Running Team such as: Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele, Geoffrey Kamworor and Joshua Cheptegei, amongst many others athletes of the NN Running Team-formation, the first professional running team in the world.

It was the first time so many professional athletes joined a virtual challenge to run together with fans from all over the world. The response from the global running community on MA RA TH ON has been overwhelming. These runners combined for a staggering 21 laps around the world combined by recording a total of 842.658 kilometres! Many of them shared their experience proudly on social through #RunAsOne, a hashtag which was used over 3000 times in the buildup and during the even.

Some of the participant’s responses:

“We needed a hefty dose of team spirit, so 4 of us took on the MA RA TH ON challenge from the NN Running Team and Maurten this weekend. As a relay, we covered 26.2 miles together. A great reminder that everything is easier when you rely on each other. We couldn’t run shoulder to shoulder, but we ran heart to heart.”

Team member of Eliud Kipchoge:

“I have no words to describe such emotion. It exceeds the expectation of any amateur athlete. It was a huge honour to be part of Eliud’s team.”

Team member of Kenenisa Bekele:

“I ran this afternoon my 10.5k with a lot of wind in 44.07 and I am very satisfied. You were constantly on my mind and it helped me a lot.”

Seeing the overwhelming numbers and responses, it goes to show how many people have been looking forward to competing in a running event again and to just have a great time with friends again while running as one. We are humbled that our dreams of spreading positivity throughout the running world has been so well received over the past weeks and we loved seeing our NN Running Team athletes getting the chance to run alongside their fans as if they were teammates

Jos Hermens, director of the NN Running Team: “Running is the true universal sport, today shows that more than ever. This event has brought together people of all nationalities, of all abilities, all with different motivations, in a shared love of running. This is one of the most challenging times we’ve faced as a society, we are fighting together for our health, we are fighting together for a greater cause. If we can show, through running, that we can mix cultures and people of all colour, in such a positive way, there is nothing that sport cannot do. I was proud to see some of the greatest athletes in the world, team up with amateurs across continents, and show that we really are one.”

The event also received support from the broader sporting community as  Tottenham Hotspur F.C. cheered on Eliud Kipchoge and cheered on their fans to go join the challenge while ultra-running legend Killian Jornet set out to complete the 10,5km for his part of the challenge.

Olympic Champion and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge: “As runners, we have missed the feeling of excitement and nervous energy as we wait together on the start line with thousands of participants. We have missed the teamwork and camaraderie that comes through completing a marathon together. This weekend we were able to join as one to recreate that feeling, that excitement and hope. People from all over the world, from all nationalities, backgrounds and religions, stood on their start lines alone but united. everyone who ran their 10.5km, you were part of a team, who together completed a marathon in this global celebration. My teammates and I thank you, we are one. Keep running.”

What we witnessed this weekend was the world of running collectively sharing what sports are all about – having fun and coming together.

I hope we get the chance of organizing more events like this in the near future, where we connect elite athletes with the rest of the world. With cancelled races all over the world, that’s the least we can do.” Said Olof Sköld, CEO Maurten.

Remco Barbier, Head of Branding NN Group said: “We are overwhelmed by the success of this virtual event, and by all the positive reactions on social media. Many runners felt connected by #runasone. Running is one of the most accessible and practiced sports in the world, and by running together with so many different people from so many different places, we together showed that united we can achieve more. Running is a team sport, as is life!”

Find here the launch video and all other visuals, use is free of rights: