After the incredible success of the One Community Virtual event at the end of May, coupled with the extended delay in the re-start of racing through the end of July, we decided to put on a very different and potentially much more challenging virtual event to bridge the gap and keep us and the community focused and training towards something.
The idea of an elevation based challenge seemed a logical one given the distance based nature of the One Community event. One Up was born.
Runners had a week, from Monday 20th to Sunday 26th July, to gain as much elevation as they could via running, hiking, climbing, stair machine, treadmill - anything on foot essentially. There were two categories. 'Up Only' involved one or more sessions run on a treadmill or with transport/ assistance back down. And 'Standard', where the runner needed to ascend and descend the entire amount on foot.
Whilst distance was not a factor, it was of course a major consideration and forced runners to think carefully about their chosen routes. A shallower grade of climb and descent would present an easier option in terms of effort, but a much more substantial amount of distance to be run to complete their chosen level. This was a particularly prevalent thought for those shooting for the very highest summits.
Overall there were eight levels to aim for, and much like the One Community event, a chance for all ages to get involved which was without doubt the best single part of that previous event - the whole community being able to be a part of something.
What was clear very quickly was that there were a range of different approaches being taken towards reaching targets, based mainly around access to hills.
Many of our community are of course based in the vicinity of our events - so the South East, where hills are not exactly common place and certainly not steep or long. Those who had gone to investigate good options for the week quickly jumped on reps to optimise elevation gain in the shortest amount of time. Whilst others took a more relaxed approach and simply incorporated more elevation into their weekly running.
As the week progressed the arduous nature of the ascending but particularly the descending, began to take its toll and many runners chose to re-evaluate goals. With the top levels starting to slip from reach for some, others turned up the heat and some of the sessions being laid down were mind boggling, with runners commiting to 15-30 hour stints on one climb, some spending hours a day on the treadmill and others repping quite frankly tiny hills many hundreds of times.
But as per the One Community event, the best single thing about this virtual challenge was that it allowed everyone to set themselves a stretch goal, but then to increase or decrease that based on what they could manage around day to day commitments - and it is this kind of moving target that has been a really valuable part of these virtual events. The full results can be found via the tab above.
As we return to our regular racing season from August, the virtual calendar will most likely not be extended in 2020, but with the wider community engagement of the One Community and One Up challenges being what they were, plus the funds raised for charity in the process, we will most likely bring both back in 2021 - albeit with some small additions and amendments particularly the inclusion of team awards.
Stay tuned for more information in the coming months. Thank you to all of those who took part in these two virtual weeks, for making this strange and difficult period in our lives so much more fulfilling as a result.
Onwards and upwards! Here are some images of the week from across the community.