Spring usually brings a host of mass running events, from 10Ks to marathons, which means a medal bonanza for many runners and a vital source of funds for charities. Of course in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, all those events have been cancelled or postponed.
But in an exceptionally admirable move, the organisers of the postponed London Landmarks Half Marathon (LLHM), a closed-road event around central London, have come up with the Local Landmarks Challenge virtual event. The aim of the virtual challenge is to give runners a new target and complete their charitable efforts, while also helping the event reach its original £8.5 million fundraising target for baby charity Tommy’s.
If you had a spot in the LLHM you can register online for the virtual challenge for free. If you didn’t it’s £12 to enter, with all profits going to Tommy’s.
Once you’ve entered you can do your run at any time before 3rd May. In the spirit of the original event, which has a route that passes many central London landmarks, the organisers are asking you to run to the landmarks near you – whether that’s a historical site, your favourite park or something quirky that you want to share with the world.
Replicating the full half marathon is encouraged, but you can also run just 5K or 10K if you prefer. Track your run with your preferred app and then upload a screenshot of it to the LLHM website to claim your medal.
Since the event calls for outdoor running, the organisers are paying close attention to government advice on the subject. As of now it’s deemed safe to run outside by yourself, keeping your distance from others while you do so, but if that changes the virtual challenge will be paused. Remember to check just before you head out.
With so many running events being cancelled, the LLHM isn’t the only one that is now going to take place virtually. You can also run, or just be active, for 60 minutes to earn a medal from the organisers of the Adidas City Runs 1-Hour race, and all of RunThrough’s March and April events can now be completed virtually.
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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.