Kenya’s world record marathon holder Eliud Kipchoge says virtual racing should be promoted as the world continues to tackle the novel coronavirus which has disrupted sporting activities.
The 35 year old will partake in the virtual marathon tagged MA RA TH ON which has been organised by the Netherlands NN Running team and Maurten, Tottenham Hotspur’s official sport fuel supplier. Each athlete will cover 10.5 kilometres during the virtual team relay to be run in groups of four.
Athletes under NN Running stable like Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei, Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, Dutch’s Abdi Negeye will also participate. According to Kipchoge, the aim of the race is to unite the runners during this difficult time of Covid-19.
“It will be an interesting race and personally I will either run on Saturday or Sunday and the main thing is not to win anything but to run as one family as we continue with the fight against the Covid-19,” said Kipchoge who is also the Olympics marathon champion.
Kipchoge said he will be teaming up with runners from Bangalore in India.
“My team is in Bangalore and they will run either on Saturday or Sunday and then the results will be transmitted through an app into the computer and the results released,” he said.
Kipchoge stated that the race is a mark of solidarity with the rest of the world in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The aim is to participate and tell the world that we are together and we shall survive and come out of the situation strong,” said Kipchoge.
The race had attracted more than 100,000 fans who had registered with each team having four to six athletes.
Kipchoge further challenged Kenyans to come up with such races in a bid to help raise funds for charity.
“Three weeks ago I was in Lewa to support rangers in the 16km challenge and this is the only way right now as we wait for the virus to be contained. Let’s do it as Kenyans and stop waiting for big races because this will help us even support the health workers as one way of contribution towards the fight of pandemic,” he added.