Monday, October 11, 2021

Running enthusiasts turn to virtual races amid pandemic

BEFORE COVID -19, weekend runs dotted the streets and even dirt trails -- from kiddie races to punishing marathons and ultra runs of up to 100 kilometers.

The pandemic however reduced most races to virtual editions, where runners run at their own pace, outside or on treadmills, cover the distance registered, and upload the finish time to get certificates and medals.

Japan had to reset the 2021 Tokyo Marathon from October 17 to March 6, 2022 as the capital city is still under a state of emergency.

The Berlin Marathon was held on September 26 and the London race on October 3.

The Chicago and Boston Marathons will be on October 10 and 11 (US time) while the last of the six major marathons, the New York race, will be on November 7.

Last year, Boston, Berlin, Chicago, and New York marathons were canceled due to the pandemic while Tokyo and London held events for elite racers only.

The Philippines will be among the countries that will hold anew the Herbalife Nutrition Virtual Run for the entire October.

The other participating nations for the second edition are Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Sridhar Rajagopalan, senior director and sub-regional general manager of Herbalife Nutrition Philippines, said the virtual run is aimed at breaking the health inertia and encouraging communities to support one another on their healthy living journey.

“We want to encourage every Filipino to start moving and take the challenge to walk or run a certain distance. Through this initiative, we would like to inspire communities to support one another on a healthy living journey and strengthen their relationships through teamwork,” he said in a news release on Sunday.

Last year’s virtual run gathered 14,000 participants and covered a total distance of close to 600,000 kilometers across Asia Pacific.

The registration period for this year’s race will be until October 15 via

During the online media launch last month, Rajagopalan advised that even if it is not the usual race, runners should wear proper and comfortable gear to avoid injuries, schedule rest days to allow the muscles to adapt and repair, alternate running and walking until a sustainable pace is established, hydrate, and get a good sleep prior to running and other physical activities. 

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