ASICS Australia has announced the launch of the inaugural ASICS World Ekiden 2020 – a challenge which will see teams of six people from around the world complete a combined marathon.
The race, inspired by a century of Japanese running culture, will be split into six legs of varying distances to allow runners of all skill-levels to take part.
The ASICS World Ekiden 2020 will combine both real-world and virtual running thanks to a new race platform using Race Roster and ASICS Runkeeper.
This allows competitors to track their team progress in real time on their Apple Watch, Garmin or Fitbit device as well as see where they rank on the live online leaderboards.
They can also enjoy a customised in-race audio experience.
That all adds up to being able to experience the excitement, connection and the motivation of the team competition despite not being together physically.
They will even have to pass their very own digital tasuki – the narrow band of fabric used in traditional Japanese Ekidens – to each other at the end of every leg.
Here’s what you need to do to enter:
- Visit www.asics.com to register.
- Sign up your team and invite up to six members. Also select the legs/km you want to run.
- Download the free ASICS Runkeeper app. You’ll receive updates leading up the event.
- Between November 11 and 22 your teammates will need to run in order relay-style.
- Once you’ve completed the 42km marathon – celebrate! You’ll be in the draw to win some great prizes including running shoes, shorts, t-shirts and more.
The launch of the ASICS World Ekiden 2020 coincides with the release of the latest ASICS research which shows, since the start of the COVID pandemic, 42 per cent of people who exercise regularly are finding it difficult to stay motivated without a goal to work towards.
Three in four team sport players say sport is more enjoyable when played with friends and teammates while two thirds admit to missing the chance to compete with others.
Half also claim their mental wellbeing has been adversely affected after being disconnected from teammates.
This is why the ASICS World Ekiden 2020 aims to help people renew their connections and enjoy the physical and mental benefits of team competition and re-energise their love of sport and competing.
“It may be inspired by one of Japan’s most famous race formats, but the ASICS World Ekiden 2020 really is an event like no other,” says Yasuhito Hirota, President & Chief Operating Officer, ASICS.
“At ASICS, listening to runners of all levels and understanding their evolving needs is at the heart of everything we do.
“Right now, that means helping bring back the mental, physical and social benefits that come with team sport.
“But as life continues to change in future, we’ll keep on innovating new products, services and events that deliver the experiences people want.”
ASICS is offering free access to a variety of products and services in preparation for race day including training, coaching and expert tips.