The Best UK Virtual Running Events To Sign Up For Right Now

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During the COVID-19 pandemic all live running events were cancelled, but many moved into the virtual sphere. This allowed runners to complete the race distance on their local routes, log their time and still collect that precious medal (in the post). These virtual running events proved so popular that many events continue to hold virtual versions alongside the real thing. Signing up to one of these is also a great way to support charities and running event organisations which may have struggled during the pandemic owing to the lack of real-world events. So if you want a motive to sign up that isn’t just a medal, there’s a very good one.

Asics World Ekiden

Gather up to five of your best running pals and tackle this virtual relay event between 10th and 22nd November. You’ll be completing a marathon between you, with the distance divided into six legs of three 5Ks, two 10Ks and a 7.2km. You track it all via the Asics Runkeeper app where you can also see how others are getting on via the global leaderboard. Getting a team of six together is the best approach, but you can have runners doing more than one leg if need be.

Sign up | Free

The Conqueror Virtual Challenges

This series of virtual challenges brings you distance goals tied to real-world routes, such as the Inca Trail, a climb up Mount Everest or a marathon to Athens. Each time you run (or walk, swim or cycle), you log your distance in the Conqueror app to progress towards your overall goal. There’s a map with virtual postcards to enjoy along the way, and it makes for an engaging way to stay motivated to train, especially when running alone. You can choose a shorter distance like the 34km across the English Channel, or line up a long-term goal like the 3,167km Appalachian Trail. Entry is expensive for a virtual event, but you get a pretty snazzy medal at the end of it.

Sign up | From £24.95

Great Run Solo

Great Run organises a range of virtual challenges, some of which are tied to its real-world events like the Great North Run, but others are stand-alone, ongoing challenges like its Couch to 5K event. There is also an ongoing Distance Challenge, which can help keep you motivated to hit certain targets over a seven- or 28-day period.

Sign up | From £10

Strava Challenges

Keep an eye on the Challenges tab of GPS tracking app Strava and you’ll see virtual running events appear frequently, including the recurring Strava challenge of running a half marathon at some point in each month. There are usually also several challenges sponsored by brands, with the chance to win kit or other goodies as a reward for your endeavours.

Download Strava on App Store or Google Play | Free, premium £5.99 a month


If you want to keep a steady stream of medals arriving in the post then work your way through RunThrough’s long list of virtual events. There are always races going on (with leaderboards) so you can scratch your itch to challenge yourself with a speedy effort, and there are distances to suit everyone. There are also special challenges related to big marathons around the world, so you can tackle events like London, Berlin or New York solo or as a team.

Sign up | £20

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.