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Run For Your Country In The Vitality Running World Cup

The Vitality Running World Cup
(Image credit: Unknown)

Elite runners all over the country are working their socks off to prepare for the Olympic trials, hoping to be selected for Team GB and Paralympics GB in Tokyo. A far easier way to run for your country, which requires zero preparatory work, is to sign up for the Vitality Running World Cup (opens in new tab) and track your runs for the next month. The virtual event is free to enter and begins on 5th March, finishing a month later on 5th April.

The more you run, the better – a country’s score is determined by the total amount of kilometres logged, although that’s divided by the population of that country and how widespread smartphone use is in that country, in order to allow smaller nations to compete.

A smartphone is required to enter the competition because you need to download the Running World Cup app (App Store (opens in new tab) and Google Play (opens in new tab)) in order to choose the country you’re competing for, and log your runs either on your phone or by linking up your fitness tracker or running watch if you have one.

The competition starts with a seven-day qualifying round. After that 16 countries will enter a knockout competition, with three rounds to get through to qualify for the final, which runs for two days from April 4th.

Once you’ve signed up and downloaded the app you need to log a minimum of 3km in 30 minutes during the qualifying round in order to contribute to your country’s total. Once you’ve done that you’ll also get a goody bag containing $100 worth of digital gifts and discounts.

There is also a prize for the winning country, which is likely to take the form of digital goodies and discounts for participants from the victorious nation. The organisers expect a million people to join in, so the prize for the thousands competing for the winning country can’t get too flashy.

Many countries have team captains leading the charge, including famous names like Jessica Ennis-Hill for the UK, Usain Bolt for Jamaica and Wayde Van Niekerk for South Africa.

“Nothing made me prouder in my career than running for my country – and this event is giving everyone the chance to do the same, no matter their level,” says Bolt. “I hope by being part of this and leading my country, I can help inspire people across the world to get involved. Good luck to all the countries taking part – especially Jamaica!”

“Whether you’ve never run before, or are an experienced runner, I hope you’ll all come together with me and start clocking up those runs,” says Ennis-Hill.

If this all sounds like great fun, you can sign up now to be ready for the qualifying round. Make sure you log your 3km in 30 minutes during the first seven days of the event to take part and help your country make the knockout rounds.

Sign up to the Running World Cup (opens in new tab) | Free

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.