For those of us not in Gran Alacant, January and February proved to be a challenge for running but the group took to the task and between us ran nearly 1000km in January, and at the time of writing, we are 500km in February. Of course of postponement of the January 21km in Santa Pola was disappointing if not unexpected, but out of the blue we received an email from District Murcia saying they were hosting a series of virtual runs (5k,10k,21k and 42k) between 7th-21st February.

So what is a Virtual Run? Very simply, because we can’t participate in organised group activities where you would run a set course with a large number of people, at a given time on a given day, the organisers invite participants to run a course of their choosing, at a time and date of their choosing. To record the times and verify the distance run, you need to down load an Official App which adds your time to a data base, from where they can create an “artificial” results list. I say artificial as not all courses will be the same in terms of terrain, hills, weather conditions, traffic, etc, meaning some will have more of an advantage than others. This means you run an individual time-trial against the clock. Of course the missing essential ingredient is the presence of other competitors on the day to spur you on to run faster than you think you can go. Someone is always chasing you down, or you are chasing someone else down. 

With group members currently in Norway, Sweden, Germany, England, Canaries, and Gran Alacant, we set our training schedules to tackle the virtual run, some choosing 5km others 10km and two choosing 21km. 

Not everywhere in Europe enjoyed the warm sunny days of Gran Alacant with most parts of northern Europe experiencing snow and freezing temperatures. Training proved to be difficult despite of the weather and some excellent times have been recorded. I know the app crashed for two runners and as it didn’t record their time, they had to run it a second time. We don’t have the results yet so we may be able to give these to you in the next edition of the GA Advertiser.