Neil Featherby: Fancy helping to kick off Sportlink’s 25th birthday celebrations?

Best foot forward for Sportlink's 25th anniversary Virtual Run. Picture: Archant

Best foot forward for Sportlink's 25th anniversary Virtual Run. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Sportlink is celebrating its 25th birthday this year and as part of the festivities they are launching their own Virtual Run Challenge

Sportlink have launched their 25th anniversary Virtual Challenge. Picture: Sportlink

Sportlink have launched their 25th anniversary Virtual Challenge. Picture: Sportlink - Credit: Archant

Having recently sat down at Sportlink to discuss our forthcoming 25th anniversary celebrations and 25 challenges, Nick Applin, our brand manager, and Chris Mickleburgh, our events manager, suggested that one of these challenges could be a virtual run.

Being a little bit old school, I said "go on, tell me more" for which the store manager Craig (my son) laughed whilst also looking at me as if to say, you really do need to start thinking about taking a step back and let us run this show.

Needless to say taking a step back is not quite on the agenda yet. Perhaps in another 25 years' time.

Anyway and having now been told exactly what virtual running is all about, I am all for it, particularly as it is open to all standards.

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At the same time and talking of all standards, whilst I don't see the more established and elite runners perhaps getting too excited by this, we will most certainly be having plenty of other challenges during the next few months which will test even them.

However, and for what will now be the Sportlink 25th Anniversary Virtual Run Challenges, we have set three distances of 25k, 100k and 200k which have to completed across the month of October and of course depending upon which one of the three challenges each entrant decides to go for.

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Why have we set three different challenges at differing distances?

Well for those who are just starting out or even thinking about having a go at running and just need that little extra bit of motivation, we think 25k spread across 31 days is perfect for the beginner and novice. It will work out on average of about 3.5 miles per week, so it should be very doable, especially if they mix walking with a little jogging.

MORE: Love running? Join the Run Anglia Facebook page hereThen with our 100k Challenge, the average works out to just two miles a day. Not that it means you have to run every single day of course and this should appeal to those who have been running regularly for a while covering between 10 and 15 miles per week.

And then finally, our super challenge of 200k which will hopefully excite those who have been consistently running a weekly mileage of around 20 to 25 miles a week. This challenge will be looking to extend them by just another three to eight miles per week, so all in all there is something for everyone to get their teeth into.

Needless to say it does not matter if you go over the distance, but just as long as you log and record your activity during the month of October, on Strava, Garmin Connect, Polar Flow or any other platform you use and then send your screenshots of your runs to at the end of the month.

I really do think the idea of these "Virtual Runs" are excellent, especially as it does not matter whereabouts in the world you are or where you do it. Just as long as you get signed up (see our website or facebook page for details) and are ready to get going on October 1. Walk it, jog it or of course run whilst doing it in your own time and of course wherever you like. Even treadmills count.

For all those who do enter, I hope you enjoy the challenge and at the same time thank you for not only entering, but for also being part of our 25th birthday celebrations. Oh and of course, I must not forget to tell you that there is a really nice medal at the end of it all for which I must say a big thank you to Justin from Medals For All, for the design and production of these awards.

Lastly, and for those who know us well at Sportlink, they will also know that not only are we so very passionate about running, but we are also heavily involved with raising money for good causes throughout the year. With this in mind, monies from this challenge will be going to two of our favourite charities, Nelson's Journey and The Hallswood Animal Sanctuary. They are two excellent causes and if anyone would like to know more, then please do contact us for details.

Good luck and of course good running...

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