World Athletics and the Local Organising Commitee of the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 have launched a new initiative – a virtual mass race on October 17, the same day as the world’s elite runners will compete for the championship. The aim is to encourage runners all around the world to run a half marathon wherever they are on October 17, 2020.

World Half Marathon Championships: Cardiff, 26 MAR 2016: Photo by Keith McClure

“It is important to clarify this does not mean that the ‘real’ mass race we have planned in Gdynia will not take place. The virtual competition is an addition to our event. We just want to enable the global running community to be with us on October 17 and join the biggest half marathon in history,” says Michal Drelich, Head of the LOC.

Intense efforts have been made to ensure the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 – including the mass race – can be held in 2020. Final decisions will be taken by the end of August. However, amateur runners who have previously registered for the mass race in Gdynia can already opt to switch to virtual competition, keeping all the benefits from the real mass race, including an Asics t-shirt, an official backpack and a uniquely designed finisher medal.

The idea behind the virtual run is far more universal, involving the global running community. As the event’s official motto says: ALL YOU NEED IS RUNNING.

Read the full release on the Gdynia 2020 website.