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Virtual racing is a runaway success with athletes


By Will Clark

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Virtual racing could become a regular feature of athletics training after its success with athletes during the lockdown period.

Kenny Wilson 'A' race winner (right) at the start before going ahead....Inverness Campus Road Race.Picture: Gair Fraser. Image No. 044415..
Kenny Wilson 'A' race winner (right) at the start before going ahead....Inverness Campus Road Race.Picture: Gair Fraser. Image No. 044415..

Inverness Harriers coach Ross Cairns says virtual running events over the last five months have kept runners going with the lack of competitions.

Scottish Athletics has seen a large uptake of participants take part in individual running challenges due to the impact Covid-19 has had on athletics.

Cairns praised Scottish Athletics for creating competitions for athletes to keep giving them the incentive to push themselves and believes it will remain a vital training method once restrictions are lifted.

“For senior athletes, running is the life blood as it’s a social community as much as racing,” he said.

“Scottish Athletics have done well by organising virtual races and they will stay as a method of training.

“They have been really good and that has kept the fires burning for the senior athletes.”

Cairns says the success of virtual racing has been the high number of people taking part from remote areas. He says athletes from clubs based in rural parts of the country may not have previously taken part in national competitions.

He says he is interested to find out the number of people from across the Highlands and Islands that have taken part in these competitions.

“What has been interesting is the uptake from people from across the north involved in virtual racing,” he said.

“Has virtual racing made people from the remote areas across the county take part in national events.

“It has been one of the success stories thatpeople from all over the area are taking part with Stornoway Athletics Club winning one of the virtual events.

“It has been good for people who have had not access to larger competitions to be able to enter themselves in a national race.

“That is why I think virtual racing will stay as a method of training after the restrictions have been lifted.”

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