Virtual runner’s high: How to run a race when there are no running events

21/08/2020 By Maria Malyshkina, ISCA

There are plenty of opportunities to participate in a running event in Denmark. However, the notorious pandemic seems to have limited even one of the most accessible ways to #BeActive – or has it?

Here’s an overview of some races that were supposed to happen in 2020. Most of them have been rescheduled for the next year, however, some of the organisers have come up with creative solutions for 2020.

Photo: Copenhagen Marathon

The two most well-known races in Denmark’s capital, the Copenhagen Marathon and Copenhagen Half Marathon, were postponed until 2021, offering the participants to either transfer their entry to next year’s event or get a refund. The Copenhagen Marathon has been taking place since 1980, so the first time it has been interrupted has come a whole 40 years later. The Half Marathon has been held since 2015, but it has already become known around the world as the “fastest” event of its kind due to the world record set in 2019.

Copenhagen Marathon 16 May 2021

Copenhagen Half Marathon 19 September 2021

Photo: Copenhagen Half Marathon

Another “young” race is the Royal Run, which first took place in 2018 in the country's five largest cities on the occasion of Crown Prince Frederik's 50th birthday. As opposed to the more “professional” races, the Royal Run aims at including people of different ages and fitness levels. To keep the participation barrier as low as possible, participants may walk or run distances ranging from one mile (1.6 km) to 5 km to 10 km. There’s also the Family mile, where whole families, elderly people and people with disabilities can follow at their own pace.

Photo: Royal Run

Royals who do sports always attract lots of public attention (just check out this video from 1991 when Princess Diana ran a school race at Prince Harry’s sports day.) This is also the case for the Royal Run, as the Crown Prince is not only the protector of the organisation behind the event – he and his family also participate. For 2020, the race has been cancelled with the option for participants to run in 2021 or get a refund.

Royal Run 24 May 2021

This race’s organisers call it the world’s largest exercise race. The main idea of DHL Stafetten revolves around the baton as a symbol of responsibility and trust, which is transferred from one race runner to another in the same manner as parcels are delivered by DHL in their work. The race will return to several Danish cities such as Copenhagen, Aalborg, Aarhus and Odense in 2021. Meanwhile, we are sharing last year’s highlight when ISCA team ran to promote the European Week of Sport. Looks like these two “familiar” runners truly got the concept of this race – you can see just from their facial expressions!

DHL Stafetten – 2021 date to be announced

Organised by DGI – the Danish association of sports clubs which is an umbrella to 6,300 local sports clubs and 1.5 million participants – Etape København offers a unique experience of running for five weekday evenings, exploring different routes and distances in Copenhagen. The race has grown ten times bigger than when it started with 100 runners in 2014. It was replaced by a virtual version for this year. The participants could choose their own running routes and distances, compete for prizes and titles as “The Biggest Team” and even “The Best Costume” and donate funds to the event’s co-organisers and Save the Children fund. Etape København is expected to return to Copenhagen streets in week 25 of 2021.

Etape København 21-25 June 2021

Photo: Etape København

The obstacle races Ladies Mud Race and Xtreme Mandehørm are organised by the Federation for Company Sport and happen several times a year in different locations around Denmark. The September editions of the races have been included in the European Week of Sport programme for several years. They stand out among the other races as they are said to affect all human senses and result in the participants being covered in dirt as well as sweat after climbing, running, crawling and even swimming to the finish line. For 2020, the race was shifted into digital space, offering the participants to run separately but on one day, choosing their own distance and using “real world” objects as obstacles – walls, benches, stairs, hills, trees, anything that a creative mind could imagine.

The 2021 dates have not been announced yet: follow and for further information

Photo: Ladies Mud Race

So don't let cancelled races keep you from exercising. Be creative and organise your own running party!