Another Lockdown, Another Virtual Challenge

After completing the Hurricane 80K challenge in the summer, I needed something else to aim for, especially with the threat of a second lockdown looming on the horizon. I came across Conqueror Challenges, who offer various long distance challenges whereby you complete it in the time frame you set yourself and you sync up your fitness app (Strava for me) to their challenge app, and every time you log a run it automatically syncs to your running total. Another plus for this company is for every 20% of your distance you cover they plant a tree, which is something that really appealed to me!

130756592_232172848274534_8989681111897737150_n.jpgBack in March 2019, I ran 22 miles of the Hadrian’s Wall Path on a section of our short break holiday and it is still one of my favourite running experiences. The Conqueror Challenges offer a virtual Hadrian’s Wall Path event, covering 90 miles and I couldn’t turn this down! I signed up in early September and set myself the target of finishing by the end of the year.

131671992_1363315624010381_7902221463005713977_n.jpg14.5 weeks later I have completed my challenge (a couple of weeks earlier than planned!) and I loved this virtual event! As you progress along the distance they email you postcards with information on what you’ve passed and what you would be seeing; for Hadrian’s Wall this included forts and key parts which is really a nice touch. The app is really user friendly and you can see your progress across the route as well as the percentage you have completed, with some encouraging words to go with!

131578947_1189751724760139_5580593188770922034_n.jpgAs I started this challenge in September I was able to run a number of the early runs with running buddies Vikki and Emma, and this also helped to keep me motivated as I was needing to run 2 or 3 times a week to keep the mileage up. Mostly, I ran around 6-7 miles a week in the local area. I found some new routes and was able to keep them varied, and I actually found this really fun and not choreful (as it can sometimes be when you have to run certain amounts each week!)

131100583_2806815326248697_3974704673435596599_n.jpgI can see these long distance virtual events becoming a favourite of mine, as it's such a good way to keep fit and active and to keep my mental health in check through this weird year! And to top it off, five trees have been planted for my efforts and I’ve learnt more about a trail that means so much to me!

131210667_872936730177924_4070212392935376660_n.jpgIt is hard to say whether next year will bring more virtual events as actual events may still be prohibited, but I am interested to see how this trend continues to grow!

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Originally published 21/12/20

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