Sportstats, the world’s largest race timing company, and LifeSport Coaching, led by Olympic Gold Medal Coach, Lance Watson, have joined forces in this time of crisis to create a free, one-of-a-kind, virtual triathlon, the largest such race in the world.
“Lance is my coach and I know—as both an athlete and a longtime professional working in the events industry—that what I miss most is the opportunity to put his world class coaching to work through racing,” says Marc Roy, CEO of Sportstats, who devised the Sportstats Virtual Triathlon Community almost as soon as the first reports of COVID-19 began to appear. “Of course, our first and most important priority is ensuring that everyone is healthy and practicing safe social distancing, but beyond that, we felt there was a need to bring the triathlon community together and give everybody the chance to have fun and compete.”
Registration for the event opens Friday, April 3 at 9 a.m. EST, and is open to athletes across the globe. The actual events kick off Friday, May 1 at 9 a.m. EST and results will be uploaded via GPX file and or manual upload. There will be race pictures, an active community on Facebook, a Strava Club, bragging rights and virtual happy hours. In addition, athletes are invited to participate as often as they wish. There will be three distances offered – sprint, Olympic and half distance triathlon and duathlon. And for the first time in triathlon history, participants can upload their fastest times to mark improvement over the 30-day period.
“The impetus behind the Sportstats Virtual Triathlon is to bring our community together in this time of unprecedented isolation,” says Watson, who has coached triathletes in the past four Olympic Games and will oversee athlete training and results. “We know how important training and racing is in the lives of our athletes and we want to do everything in our power to bring together as many people as we can in a celebration of community and sport.”
The celebration will be holistic, vibrant and unite the triathlon community, focusing on our physical and mental health while we work together to outlast this pandemic. Sensing the need for such an event from his own itchy feet, Marc Roy enlisted Lance Watson to partner in uniting their networks and abilities to create something the world has never seen.
“I approached the Sportstats Virtual Triathlon idea from the position of any other athlete: ‘What do I need right now?’ Because I know if I need it, there’s people just like me all over the world who are hungry to turn off the news and to go train and race,” says Roy, who will be posting virtual stories from his event on iRun.ca, the magazine that Sportstats owns. “None of us have ever experienced anything before in our lives like what we’re currently living through but, as an athlete, I know that whatever’s going to happen will be better if I’m afforded the chance to have fun and race.”
To learn more about the Sportstats Virtual Triathlon and to register for your own virtual race, please click this link.