2020 Antonine Trail Race Half Marathon a real challenge
Runners have all of October to complete their own journey round the course ... Hallowe'en fancy dress optional
Any lack of enthusiasm runners may be feeling about virtual racing clearly doesn’t apply to the Antonine Trail Race Virtual Half Marathon.
Over a quarter of the 400 available places were sold in the first 24 hours after Monday’s launch.
The Virtual ATR will follow the same route as 2019’s ‘real’ event, starting next to Croy Station in North Lanarkshire and taking in Croy Hill, Dumbreck Marsh, the Creecywood Trail, Bar Hill and another trip up Croy Hill back to the start.
The course itself travels over mixed terrain with long spells of Landrover track, forest trail, lush grass, a wooden boardwalk and hard-packed paths. As in previous years, runners should be prepared for mud – lots of it – on the higher sections of the course.
To help those unfamiliar with the course – changed slightly in 2018 – a GPX file with the route will be sent to all runners later this month.
Participants will then have all of October to run the route and submit their GPX file showing their elapsed time to the race team within 48 hours of completing their efforts.
Organisers will publish a leaderboard each week, with the final leaderboard revealed in early November.
To ensure everyone plays fair, organisers will sample a selection of the GPX files; those who haven’t followed the correct route will not be included on the leaderboard.
Completing the course in weather-appropriate fancy dress for Halloween is allowed, but most certainly optional. Following current distancing/group restrictions is, however, mandatory.
Entry to the 2020 Virtual ATR costs £10, and includes a special edition Virtual ATR buff and an ATR ‘coastdel’: a medal that doubles as a coaster.
‘Every single penny’ of profit after costs – anticipated to be around £3 per runner – will be donated to Kilsyth Community Food Bank.
Image credit: Antonine Trail Races