Runners across Australia unite with virtual trail running races
Over 330 trail runners from across Australia and overseas have united together by entering virtual race 1 of the Trail Running Series presented by MINI Countryman on Sunday 14 June, 2020.
Credit Rapid Ascent
Traditionally held as a series of physical races in close proximity to Melbourne, this year the first 2 series races will be conducted as virtual events which has allowed runners from every State and Territory to participate.
Joining 220 Victorian stalwarts currently are 36 from WA, 25 from NSW, 21 from Queensland as well as a contingent from Tasmania, the ACT and NT.
In addition to this, the Series has caught the eye of 3 New Zealand runners, 1 from Scotland with many runners hailing from various regional locations such as King Island, Orange, Mt Gambier, Scottsdale, Maffra, Mansfield, Sale, Broome, Halls Creek, to name a few.
With entries still open for another two weeks these numbers are expected to double as more and more runners join the virtual action.
Cameron of Scotland says “Following a knee operation last year I started trail running and am loving it! I’m not fast or competitive, I just like being outdoors. I’ll be starting this race at midnight in my time zone so going for the short 5km course.”
Meanwhile other runners have their own reasons for joining the virtual races, such as Emilie from Charlemont who says, “I’m brand new to running and have taken it up due to the lockdown we have been experiencing. I’ve started to love it and looking forward to connecting with other runners who love the freedom of being outside.”
“I used to love trail running and have just joined a running group in Broome who are keen to participate in the event. It’s great for my motivation,” said Lexi of Broome.
With restrictions slowly lifting, having the chance to race whether it be alone or with a few friends is getting plenty of runners excited to take to the trails.
It is the first time in the events’ 10-year history that the Series has had to be adapted due to factors outside our control with the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation.
Participants can choose to enter either 5km, 10km or 15km races over whatever course they have access to whilst actively respecting current social distancing rules. Race 1 will be held on Sunday 14 June, and Race 2 on Sunday 12 July.
At 9:00am (AEST) on each race morning, competitors set off to complete their race, knowing that all other entrants are running at the exact same time.
“We are very happy that the virtual races have caught wide-spread attention and are providing the motivation and inspiration we have all needed over the past two months of restrictions,” said Event Manager Sam Maffett.
“To continue to engage with our trail running community has been a priority of ours during these testing times for runners, and we can’t wait to share the friendly social vibes and friendships, albeit virtually come race day,” added Maffett.
Each event will see participants brought together and connected using simple technology including Facebook Live, ZOOM, Strava and/or Race Map live tracking.
The virtual races are more about camaraderie than competition, and are designed to give runners a date with friends when they need it most. Results will also be acknowledged online.
Entries start at just $15 for a single virtual race entry through to $55 for 2 races including the official event t-shirt mailed to competitors, plus a range of give-a-ways from event sponsors.
Traditionally, the annual Trail Running Series consists of five (physical!) events from 5km to 23km held in beautiful wilderness locations near Melbourne, attracting up to 1,500 keen trail runners at each event. Rapid Ascent plan to schedule two or three physical races to be held between October and January when the current situation has calmed down.
Further details on the Trail Running Series virtual races can be found at the official event website: www.TrailRunningSeries.com.au
2020 SERIES OUTLINE
Race 1: Sunday 14 June – Virtual Races 5km, 10km, 15km
Race 2: Sunday 12 July – Virtual Races 5km, 10km, 15km
Race 3 and 4: Physical Races – date, location and distances to be confirmed mid-year.