A Truly Unique Social Running Challenge: Checkpoints Race

Do you run?  Do you log your runs with GPS?  Do you use social media?  Do you like a challenge?  Would you like to win an all expenses trip for an epic running adventure?  Then I think I may have found just the thing for you.

I’m always on the look out for new and interesting events to add to my running calendar but at the moment I’m focussed on training for my first marathon, at London in April.  My calendar of events have been carefully assembled purely to fit my training plan.  With all my attention on my biggest running challenge yet I hadn’t given any thought beyond 26th April.

I’ve heard, for some marathoners, the post-race period can be a difficult time.  The iconic distance can take its toll on the body and the mind, not to mention the weeks of training to get to the startline so I’d like something to look forward to, something to tempt my running mojo from disappearing.

As if by magic, or perhaps a gesture from the running gods, a tweet caught my eye from a brand new event: Checkpoints Race.

With the boom of running continuing, alongside advancements in technology, many of us now run alone yet are still connected with like-minded people around the globe.  The increasing number of apps and devices allow us to not only track our performance but also connect with fellow runners around the world.

200 million people ran with a connected device around the world in 2013

More runners are looking for more ways to enjoy their passion and push their boundaries.  The increase in runners has led to an increase in number, and type, of events available to keep our passion piqued, but none I’ve come across matches the Checkpoints Race.

The team behind Checkpoints Race are looking to harness the increase in run tracking, social media and ever growing community of runners around the world to create a truly unique challenge.

Teams of five runners will compete, wherever they are in the world, between May and September to be one of 50 teams to win an all expenses paid trip to the Alps for the epic final challenge: a 24 hour relay race covering 130km of French Alpine terrain!  Amazing eh?  Well, before we get too hooked up on the final, let’s see what you’ll have to do to get there.

As a team of 5 you will run, train and race as you normally do, wherever you are in the world, tracking your every step with your normal gadget or app.  You then synchronise your runs with the Checkpoints Race app which then converts your efforts into “Energy Points”.  And what do points make?  Hopefully that ticket to the Alps!

The app that converts your runs into the all important energy points
The app that converts your runs into the all important energy points

Along the way you can earn extra points by completing challenges and, more importantly, from the actions of an army of fans that you will need to recruit.

Fans can contribute to your team’s point tally through their own running but also through their social media interactions.  Essentially, the more fans your team can recruit, the more points they’ll accrue for the team.

You can't run it alone - you'll need an army of fans to help you
You can’t run it alone – you’ll need an army of fans to help you

What’s more, if you qualify for the Alpine final you’ll still need the assistance of all those fans that helped you get there.

The final 24 hour challenge of working as a team to cover 130 alpine kilometres will be a fully interactive event with helicopters and planes providing full network coverage and streaming live data, audio and video back to your fans.

They won’t just be watching your every move – they could give you a boost and help write you into the history books as the first team to win the Checkpoints Race!

I don’t know about you but I think it sounds bloody awesome!  It ticks all my boxes.

All I need to do is find 4 other like minded individuals to join me in a team so if you’re addicted to social media, passionate about running and up for a challenge: I need you!

The four simple steps behind the Checkpoints Race
The four simple steps behind the Checkpoints Race

Seriously, I do.  Discounted early bird registration opens on February 23rd with the period for points scoring starting on May 11th.

The cost for a team of 5 is around £80 which provides codes for the 5 team members to download the Checkpoints Race app needed to sync your runs and score points.

If you plan on running regularly between May and September this year and like the crazy idea of attempting to secure a place in a 24 hour relay race across the French Alps in late September then please get in touch via the comments section below this post or through my Twitter profile @running_dan_w.

Join me!

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