Forget about the lockdown and the posts-Christmas blues, the Coast to Coast challenge organised by Aodh Ruadh is one of the most popular events of the New Year.
And there are still two days left to enter.
The Coast to Coast challenge takes you from Donegal to Co Down on a virtual run, walk or jog. The starting point is Creevy Pier just outside Ballyshannon and the destination is Ardglass in Co Down. You have 40 days (or less) to navigate the 200km.
There is a 20 day option too for a more advanced athlete. There has been more uptake in that category than the organisers originally thought there would be.
Already more than 600 have entered to take part and not just from Donegal but from all over the world. The first adventurers set off on January 3 and the event is open to new registrations until tomorrow January 13 (Wednesday).
You can submit your distances daily and track your progress, and for those that are more competitive you can keep an eye on the leaderboard too. People are posting pictures as you go to Instagram, Twitter & Facebook to let us know how they are getting on. Everyone receives badges as you pass through various towns throughout the challenge and a certificate when you finish.
What is a virtual fitness challenge?
A virtual fitness challenge can be run or walked from any location you choose. You can run, jog or walk on the road, on the trail, on the treadmill, at the gym, or on the track. You get to partake at your own pace, and time it yourself and in line with the current HSE guidelines.
The clock starts ticking from the first day you submit your daily distance.
Track Your Progress
Once you have signed up you can submit your distances daily and track your progress, receive badges when you reach certain milestones and for those that are more competitive you can keep an eye on the leaderboard too. You can enter your activity either by manually entering your daily distance or by syncing your activities from your favorite fitness tracker or smartwatch.
"The idea of the event was to get people active during the lockdown and give people somewhere to focus their new years good intentions. The reaction has been incredible and even better, the feedback since it kicked off has been really positive. It provides a lot of motivation to get going and keep it going from day to day," said event organiser Philip McLoone.
"We have had people of all ages and all fitness levels taking part which is great. Some are tearing through it, some are pacing themselves nicely, and others might have to cram like the week coming up to the leaving cert to get it done! There is a steady flow of newbies joining every day so its important not to be discouraged if people see others away ahead of them in the challenge.
"Virtual events have become popular and it's a great way to exercise as part of a group but not having to meet up and be in a group. People can take part in this event regardless of what town, county or country they live. There was specific merchandise designed for this event, and that is proving really popular too. Even though its Aodh Ruadh that's organising it, it's important to note there isn't a club crest on the merchandise or people don't have to be affiliated with the club to take part (in fact it's great having people sign up from so many different places)," said McLoone, who reminded participants to be careful if there are icy roads.
Already there has been one finisher, as of Monday morning with local publican Maurice McLaughlin completing the run. No doubt the training with the Fermanagh minors has kept him fit!
How to enter?
Go to myrunresults.com and click on the Coast to Coast Challenge virtual event.
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