Global Running Day has joined the list of virtual-only events in 2020.
Although running has seen a boom recently because of the coronavirus pandemic, the annual event celebrating the popular exercise has nixed its normally scheduled physical group outdoor activities.
The event, which takes place on the first Wednesday of every June, is typically filled with races and group running events organized by running organizations and clubs.
This year, New York Road Runners (NYRR), the organization behind the event, is asking participants to participate by running on their own.
"Our physical Global Running Day events may be paused, but it's important that we all keep active in a safe and responsible way," NYRR wrote on the event's website. "This year, Global Running Day 2020 will be digitally uniting people across the world in a global effort to encourage physical wellness and strengthen community."
Between May 28 and June 7, runners are invited to participate in a virtual leaderboard through the run-tracking app Strava. Participants are being asked to run or walk a mile anywhere during that time. They can also create their own bib templates and printable finish line tapes.
Participants are also encouraged to join in on a game of virtual tag with the #Run1Tag1 challenge, designed to inspire others to participate by tagging them on social media.
Running safely during a pandemic
Running is one of the few physical activities you can safely practice while getting some fresh air outside, and that has led to more runners taking to the streets.
With summer bringing warmer weather across the US, expect to see even more runners outside. Paths and trails are becoming increasingly more crowded with the recent uptick in runners.
But don't let that deter you, as you can still practice safe social distancing as long as you're aware of your surroundings and you choose the right path.
Runners suggest sticking to routes that are open where it is easy to maintain a safe physical distance from others, and be mindful of other people's space, which may mean running in the street instead of a sidewalk.
There are "a number of smart choices runners can make at any point, not just during a pandemic," Kate Gustafson, running coach for Brooklyn Track Club Women's Performance Team, told CNN.
Gustafson said that includes:
- Telling someone where you're going and when you'll be back.
- Wearing proper footwear.
- Wearing running-appropriate gear.
- Share the road with others 6 feet in all directions.
- Planning your route in advance.
- Washing your hands when you get home.