Saying that 2020 is a peculiar year may be an understatement. It started with tragedies, deaths, wild fires, a threat of war… Then came the biggest threat yet, COVID19. For the first time, runners cannot enjoy the usual feel of the pavement…. or dirt, for some. Most of us (hopefully, all) waited for the community quarantine level to be downgraded in our locales, such that we could finally run outside again. There were also those that actually made do of their backyards, fire exits, roof tops, and other allowable space, just to scratch the running itch. It was — and still is— a situation that most of us are getting used to. How we all missed the fun runs, group LSDs, or training in our favorite running grounds. But despite this, we make do with what we have. It is just how we Filipinos are.
And this is the challenge that VirtualRacePH accepted, armed with our 4-point objectives. We continued to ADVOCATE, bringing out exciting events and partnering with other organizers, to bridge more runners and charitable organizations, hoping to cover more ground than usual. We continued to MOTIVATE, putting forth challenging and exciting events — no two events with the same distance/duration — making sure that runners are not slacking on their fitness goals despite the lack of actual races to prepare for. We continued to encourage everyone to CELEBRATE their achievements by ensuring the best finishers entitlements are given those that finished the events. 4 inch 3D Pyramedals? Where else could you earn those? And finally, we continued to INNOVATE, providing the complete semi-automated Virtual Race experience with minimal human intervention possible! System generated emails for each status change, e-bibs and e-certificates to further immortalize your race experience, and integrated tracking on the website for you to track your finishers entitlements. Moreover, to lessen the limit that this pandemic has put forth upon our movements, we have introduced the #WeHealAsOne Adjusted Mechanics, where we now allow pedometer app readings as proof of runs, using our standard conversion factor of 1200 steps = 1km. This made our community more inclusive to those who do not want to buy expensive devices, and those that are on limited spaces due to the pandemic situation.
It is no surprise that due to the limited movement (and funds) of people, our 2020 events has smaller turnouts than the previous year. But not so much! We are actually seeing an uptrend that the latest event has already reached the average turnout we had in previous years! We are seeing this trend to go further up, and possibly surpassing our peak numbers of 2019. Yes, we are confident that Virtual Racing is becoming part of the new normal. Less physical contact, no long queues for finisher entitlements and race kits, same health and charitable benefits. Win-win! 🙂
We are very much excited to continue making a difference with all of you, ONE RUN AT A TIME! We have BIG things brewing for our 5th year, so stay tuned!
Always keep safe!