Many runs are being conducted virtually with a few physical events, thanks to Covid
Hyderabad: Nobody likes being locked down and when it is done forcefully then it impacts our mind and body both. The pandemic-induced lockdown pushed many of us to find different avenues to keep ourselves fit and healthy. While many of us turned to home-based fitness regimes and virtual yoga sessions, runners – both amateurs and seasoned – were left in the lurch.
However, technology and innovation seem to have come to the rescue of runners and many runs are being conducted virtually with a few physical events. Many not-so-fit enthusiasts are seeking the joy of running as there is an increased awareness about health and also due to restrictions of staying at home.
For Hyderabad’s very own marathon runner and fitness instructor, Jacqueline Babitha Xavier, the lockdown did not mean an end to her runs. “There are many apps and tracking devices that one can use to run and stay fit. One can either do a treadmill run or just walk in their vicinity or just maybe run in their homes. Apps like Strava, Runkeeper will help in tracking our runs either through our smartphones or through our fitness bands,” she informs.
Many running events in the city had to make a 360-degree turnaround with restrictions on crowd gatherings and physical distancing. Organisations conducting these runs had to look for innovative ways like conducting events virtually. In the virtual mode, runners have to either install an app recommended by the organiser or just use the tracking device that is provided by the organiser to record their runs. The device/app captures their runs or activity and then it gets reflected on the leaderboard.
“People are running in localised areas or are practicing their runs in groups that are known to them. In terms of events, we are seeing that while most have shifted online in physical events the participation has come down by one-third of pre-pandemic numbers. For example, if previously we used to have 1,000 runners participate in an event we are now calling only 300 people for a physical event and the rest are participating virtually,” says Arunkumar Kaliappan, secretary, Hyderabad Runners.
In runs that are being conducted physically, the organisers are taking precautions like asking for RT-PCR tests 72 hours before the event even if the participant is vaccinated fully, no-contact methods like asking participants to bring their water bottles and also restricting people to only participants and not to allow non-participants for the event.
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