The first virtual marathon to be hosted in Daegu, the center of K-Quarantine efforts, with elite marathoners!
In this time of “with COVID,” Daegu Metropolitan City, which is at the center of South Korea’s K-quarantine efforts, is set to host a virtual international marathon for the first time in the world with elite and master runners.
Promotional Poster for the 2021 Daegu International Marathon’s Virtual Race
The 2021 Daegu International Marathon is set up as the world's first virtual race. Participants can simply download the smartphone app and run the target distance from anywhere they want—in Korea or abroad—during the given period. The distance and time will be automatically uploaded and verified
The registration period for participants began in early February, and the deadline was March 12 (Fri). However, to support the “plogging (jogging while picking up litter)” of elementary, middle, and high school students whose school year began in early March, the city is expected to extend the registration period to March 19.
This event particularly highlights Daegu’s capacity as an international athletics city that hosted the 2011 World Athletics Championships as well as the active support of the World Athletics (WA) and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Korea, given that all elite competitions around the world are being canceled due to COVID-19. For this race, Daegu has prepared for elite athletes to participate in a race in their own countries without having to gather in a single location.
In addition, to guarantee the fairness of the competition, the city plans to develop an app for the race that uses GPS location-based services and GIS maps, through which the Daegu Sports Science Center and local universities will calculate and verify the records. The data from this year’s race is expected to be used as research data for future virtual competitions.
The Masters race will be a basic race, combining both online and offline sections, providing participants who have performed missions such as a 100-kilometer cumulative race, plogging, and promoting mask wearing, with a chance to run on the Geumhogang River bike road.
Above all, the most distinctive feature of this virtual marathon is the various events that remind us of the preciousness of daily life in the COVID era where many of the daily activities are restricted. These events are designed to lessen the burden of partaking in the marathon while encouraging the participants to be safe in the race.
The Daegu International Marathon began in 2001 as a three-kilometer Daegu Stadium Masters Race. Then the establishment of a full marathon course in 2007 provided the basis for the 2011 World Athletics Championships. Since 2013, it has secured the Silver Label for eight consecutive years and continues to grow steadily.
Daegu hopes to turn the difficulty of performing non-face-to-face activities into an opportunity to improve its international recognition by actively promoting the race via 22 sports associations that are members of the Korea Sport Association in the USA as well as 30 local sports associations, 32 overseas branches of the Korea Tourism Organization, which is an official sponsor for this race, and overseas diplomatic offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.