Running is one of the best ways to relieve stress, and so are marathons.
Hear me out.
They can be stressful, requiring you to wake up at godforsaken hours and run with a body which is half asleep. But once you’ve crossed that line, the exhilaration also just gets you.
One problem though – they can be really expensive. The Sundown marathon costs upwards of $40, and Standard Chartered runs hover above $55 (excluding kids’ runs).
We might love to run, but paying through the nose for it can be a real demotivation.
42Race’s Pivot Into Virtual Races
The team – consisting of Augustine, Huishun, Yajing, Penny, Ziqi and Zhou Mi – would offer travel packages to the destination country, transport to and from the races, as well as a tourist itinerary.
Today, the startup has completely pivoted into virtual races. Before you ask – no, these races are not about VR tech.
Runners can sign up marathons at a fraction of the costs (an average of $10), and complete the runs anywhere and anytime they like, so long as they are done before a deadline.
The runs don’t have to be clocked in Singapore either, meaning that you could be running along a seaside promenade in Taiwan and it’d still count.
42Race also has buddy runs like the Double Dragon Run where the medals that you and your running buddy gets can interlock with each other. All the medals given out are designed by 42Race’s own team, and come in a range of unique, gorgeous designs.
Have a running kaki? Here’s where you start tagging them / sharing this post to them!
Clock timings and distances with a running app like Strava, and send the data to the team. If everything checks out, you’ll find a cool new medal waiting for you in the mail.
Their range of virtual races include event-based runs such as the annual X’mas Run (which is free) as well as the upcoming Mothers’ Day Virtual Marathon (12-14 May 2017).
Compared to the expenses of their previous global runs, 42Race’s virtual runs definitely seem like a winning step for the team.
According to co-founder Zhou Mi, the team launched their first virtual run back in March 2015 as they wanted to try something new to bring more people into the marathon-cation business.
“To our surprise, the virtual race had really great responses and we decided to pivot our business to focus on building up the virtual race series and ultimately, a social platform for runners in S.E.A.”
“The team is very excited […] as we have received many positive reviews commenting that our service inspired them to run more.”
One aspect I found really cool on the 42Race site was this little thing called Running Heroes.
42Race has a race calendar for all regional events over the year, and the team collaborates with some of organisers to launch Running Heroes.
Running Heroes essentially allows runners to attend events such as the upcoming Run Free marathon in May for free. In exchange for free participation, Heroes have to take photos of the race and write a short review.
Since reviews don’t have to be very long (about 200 words), the Running Heroes page is definitely one to look out for.
Slots are limited though, so make sure you watch it closely!
Building A Running Community
Although 42Race’s virtual runs are OTOT, Zhou shares that the team is striving towards galvanising Singapore’s running community.
“We will be planning a year-end runners’ appreciation party to bring runners together.”
“For now, 60% of runners run on their own or with their friends and families. We do have many running groups organising offline runs to complete virtual runs together. From Q2 2017, we will also be launching our race tee as an add-on and that will be a way for runners to identify one another on road.”
Featured Image Credit: 42Race Team