NN Running Team’s ‘MA RA TH ON’ will see participants run against, or even be on a team with, athletes such as Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele, Joshua Cheptegei and Geoffrey Kamworor

Runners from around the world will have the chance to team up with the likes of marathon superstar Eliud Kipchoge next month as the NN Running Team has announced a worldwide virtual team relay event involving some of its top athletes.

While traditional races have been cancelled and postponed due to the coronavirus crisis, virtual events are experiencing a boom. Now the NN Running Team has launched ‘MA RA TH ON’ to take place on June 6 and 7, giving participants the opportunity to run against, or even possibly with, athletes such as Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele, Joshua Cheptegei and Geoffrey Kamworor to complete a marathon.

The event involves each runner in the four-strong teams completing 10.5km. Runners can enter as complete teams of four, or if entering solo they will be teamed up with runners from around the world. The NN Running Team athletes will be randomly added to 10 of the participating teams.

“I can say that myself and my teammates are really looking forward to join the relay in this wonderful initiative,” said world marathon record-holder Kipchoge.

“It has been an unusual time whereby all runners had to readjust their plans after having prepared well towards their own goals for this past spring season. We all look forward to a positive future and I believe that this a great first step in that direction.

“Marathon is a sport whereby elite athletes and fun runners are actually all racing in the same race. It’s what makes our sport unique and I find the essence of this to be beautiful. Every runner has their own pace, their own background and their own motives to why they run.

“I am very excited to join someone’s team whereby we can all have a really positive experience, run towards a goal together and share stories afterwards, just like we normally would after a race together.”

Participants can register online at nnrunningteam.com/marathon free of charge from May 30, with leaderboards also available to view on the website.

Participants, who must be aged 18 and over, will need a Strava account to join in and the winners will be announced on June 9.

Jos Hermens, director of the NN Running Team, said: “In a great collaboration with our title sponsor NN Group and Maurten we have been able to organise this worldwide virtual event, enabling us to spread positivity on each continent while giving people the chance to run alone, but together.

“We all miss the excitement of the big city marathons and hopefully this will bring our athletes and fans together. In these difficult times we like to challenge people to stay active and to go for a run.”

Meanwhile, the Canada Running Series has joined with other race organisers to launch a campaign inspiring Canadians to get active on June 3 to mark Global Running Day.

People across Canada can register for free at raceroster.com/events/2020/31981/canada-moves-coast-to-coast-on-global-running-day and log their walking, running or rolling kilometres to be part of the initiative.

While there is no cost to register, the event is raising money for the Canadian Mental Health Association.

A digital relay will also take place on Facebook Live, with race directors celebrating what running means to them. Each segment will feature athletes, run crews and other special guests talking about how they’re getting active on Global Running Day.

Runners around the globe can also sign up for the NYRR Virtual Global Running Day 1M and log their runs from May 28 to June 7. Visit nyrr.org/races/nyrrvirtualglobalrunningday1m to find out more.

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