Feel the Difference with the ASICS Virtual Run Challenge

Run your way out of Lockdown for a chance to win one of 300 pairs of ASICS running shoes and a trip to the 2021 Paris or Tokyo Marathon, by entering the ASICS x Virtual Run!

Amidst the isolation of lockdown, the world has fallen in love with running – that is, according to the findings of a new, ongoing research study by ASICS. More importantly, the research shows nearly three-quarters of runners around the world plan to stick with their new exercise routine. And out of this study was born an initiative, a series of virtual runs, to help people get moving and guide them in their newfound love for running.

Take note, however, that this Virtual Run is unlike any of those you’ve done before. It’s a six-week programme – see it as your motivation to get back out there and in hot shape for summer – with six levels to unlock as you progress, one each week starting now in September and running into October. And with that comes 300 pairs of ASICS shoes up for grabs, plus a trip to either the Paris or Tokyo Marathon in 2021, plus tons of other gear from our partners, so sign up here to kick your running into high gear!

The World Loves Running

The study, which ASICS is conducting to better understand and support the changing needs of runners, spoke to 14,000 regular exercisers[i] across 12 countries. It found that:

  • Since the start of lockdown, more than a third (36%) of regular exercisers are more active now than before – despite most sports being brought to a standstill by social distancing measures.
  • 79% of runners say running is currently helping them feel saner and more in control, and 65% of runners say its mental benefits outweigh any other form of physical exercise; and
  • 73% of runners want to keep running as much as they are now after this pandemic ends.

Meanwhile, figures from the fitness-tracking app, Runkeeper™, show that runners of every level are clocking up more strides, more often. During April 2020, the app saw a 252% rise in registrations globally and a 44% increase in monthly active users compared to the same time last year. It also reported a 62% spike globally in people heading out for a weekly run. Put in context, in the days around Global Running Day during our national lockdown, there was a +47.3% (globally) increase in people running compared to last year.

The study also reveals that for the majority of people, this activity surge is down to more than just physical health. Two-thirds (67% globally) say exercise helps them cope mentally when faced by challenging situations like this pandemic, and eight in ten (79% globally) runners insist that being active is making them feel saner and more in control. A similar number (81% globally) say running is playing a key role in helping them clear their mind while two-thirds (65% globally) insist its mental benefits outweigh any other form of physical exercise.

Furthermore, runners across the board are keen to keep their active habits going when this crisis is over. Nearly three-quarters of runners (73% globally) say they want to continue running as much as they are now after the COVID-19 pandemic comes to an end while seven in ten (70% globally) people who exercise regularly are determined to hang on to the important role sport and movement is currently playing in their lives. Perhaps most encouragingly, among those who only took up running after the COVID-19 crisis started, nearly two thirds (62% globally) say they plan on sticking with it in future.

Helping South Africa Run
With all this wonderful, healthy running momentum, ASICS has launched its ASICS x Virtual Run. You can see it as your motivation to get back out there and in hot shape for summer, and a great challenge to add to your lockdown running programme. Six levels to unlock, running challenges to tackle, and amazing prizes to be won, including those 300 pairs of ASICS shoes up for grabs, an overseas marathon experience, plus tons of other gear from our partners. So sign up here to kick things into high gear, get moving and Feel the Difference with ASICS.

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