Virtual Melbourne Marathon Festival
Much like the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival, another major Australian fun run, the Melbourne Marathon Festival also went virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Melbourne Marathon Festival is annual walking/running and marathon festival, which has grown since its inaugural event in 1978 to become Australia’s biggest marathon. It offers a variety of distances for participants to complete, with all distances finishing inside the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). I actually participated in the 2017 Melbourne Marathon Festival on 15 October 2017, completing the 3km walk.
This year was the first time that the Melbourne Marathon Festival had to be cancelled, however the organisers provided participants with the Virtual Melbourne Marathon Festival as an alternative event to participate in.
The range of distances in the Virtual Melbourne Marathon Festival that were on offer for participants were: a 3km walk, 5km run, 10km run, half-marathon and marathon. Participants had from December 5-13 to complete their selected distance. I chose to complete the 3km walk on December 8 in 35 minutes and 19 seconds.
As I completed my distance on a treadmill and my gym has restricted the treadmills to only work for 20 minutes, I completed my distance in two sessions, the second session starting seconds after the first session ended. As there was a requirement to complete the distance in one go, I explained this situation to the organisers and they accepted it as a completion but my time wasn’t included on the Festival’s leader board.
My participation in the Virtual Melbourne Marathon Festival is the first time I’ve participated in an event twice, as well as completing an event in both virtual and “real world” form.
Shortly after the Virtual Melbourne Marathon Festival ended, I received an email from the organisers which stated that over 5,500 runners across 53 countries, aged from 3 to 85, put 232,600km behind them.
My data, bib (yes I was emailed a bib although I didn’t wear it), and medal (everyone got a medal) for the Virtual Melbourne Marathon Festival can be found below.