New challenges for events and event organizers at the time of COVID – 19

38th Tartu Forest Marathon to be held as a virtual run

In the past weeks the pandemic diffusion of Coronavirus has been affecting all the countries in Europe forcing them to take steps to isolate the spread of the virus. Measures were taken in the different countries that affect in different ways the life of the people of the countries, but one thing seem to be constant in all countries: events must be cancelled to avoid contact amongst people and so decrease the risk of contagion.
This has clearly a huge impact on the event sector, forcing event organizers to rethink their strategies and come up with alternatives to the situation. This is the case of Tartu Marathon, that came up with an inventive solution, following the ban on sport events instituted by the Estonian government until May 1st.

Tartu Forest Marathon, known as the biggest cross-country running event in the Baltics, brings around 10 000 participants to the track each spring. In today’s situation, where sports and mass events are prohibited in Estonia, the organizers decided that this year the 38th Tartu Forest Marathon will take place as a virtual race.

“We want to encourage people to keep optimistic mind and positive attitude in these extremely challenging and changing circumstances. Regular outdoor activities help to survive the crisis more easily, to stay healthy and to keep up with the good physical shape. The virtual marathon motivates people to continue their everyday training, and while running such a marathon, there is no need to fear the risk of infection in a large crowd of runners. Everyone can choose their favourite place to run – it can be also all alone in the nearest forest or hiking track”

Indrek Kelk, the Race Director of Tartu Forest Marathon

Participants can choose between the 4 traditional distances of the regular forest marathon: 42, 24, 10 or 5 km. It is up to each participant to decide where to run. Marked trails of Tartu Forest Marathon can be used, but also forest and city trails that are most comfortable for the participant, are suitable. The selected distance must be completed within the two weeks period between May 1st to May 17th and the running log sent to the organisers. All virtual runners will be awarded with a magnificent medal of Tartu Forest Marathon.

Race regulation and specific details are currently under development. The organisers will provide more info about the virtual race of 38th Tartu Forest Marathon as soon as possible.

Photo: Adam Illingworth
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