Virtual races are hitting the tracks, streets and trails

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Michael Barber wearing his Oak Bay High School singlet. Photo credit: Yan Lyesin

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Virtual races are popping up everywhere, including the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend has gone completely virtual as of Monday. They announced reduced rates for the 17,000 people already registered.

Details, here>>

For middle-distance athletes wanting a race, there is a global virtual event available for all abilities. It’s a 1500-metre distance event and the race director is banking on honesty.

It is called the Social Distance Classic and they have a Facebook Group that you may join.

Two-time Olympian Bruce Deacon is putting the event together as he is currently coaching a number of youth middle-distance athletes that are champing at the bit to race.

“Faced with a worldwide pandemic that has ended the spring season, the Social Distance Classic is a chance for athletes to test themselves over 1500m and compare their efforts with athletes from around the world,” writes Deacon.

There are a few rules. First off, he wants honesty. It’s an honour system, but with most athletes on Strava these days, cheating is difficult; it’s accuracy that can be an issue.

Secondly, you must run solo to respect the efforts around the world to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Deacon wrote, “No pacers, no other runners, no coaches, no fans. Just put out everything you’ve got when no one else is watching.”

Trevor Neil sporting his Prairie Inn Harriers Youth Team singlet. Photo credit: Yan Lyesin

Athletes must state if the effort was run on the track, road, or trail. “Road or trail courses MUST be flat.”

Finally, runs must happen on April 11 and results are to be posted by 9:00 PM PST Vancouver/Los Angeles, which is 12:00 AM in Toronto or New York, 5:00 AM London, UK or 7:00 am in Nairobi, Kenya.

“Run your guts out and then take a selfie next to the watch time. State your age, club, and country,” added Deacon.

Elsewhere, Dave Ross of RossRunning is putting on a virtual 10K road race. This will be taking place Saturday, April 18 anywhere.

“You can do this outdoors or on a treadmill and submit your results. We will compile the results and put them into different categories and share them. Something to look forward to and to keep us all motivated. We plan to add a Virtual 20k event in May, most likely May 23rd,” shared Ross.

RossRunning and the details for the race are available on Facebook.