North Highland Harriers take up virtual challenges
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Training sessions delivered online and virtual challenges covering different distances are among the ways members of local running club North Highland Harriers (NHH) are adapting to the coronavirus lockdown.
The club suspended all normal training and events on March 17, in line with advice from the governing body Scottish Athletics. However, members are still able to run once a day as their permitted exercise.
NHH secretary Donna Stewart explained: "In order to keep us focused and to continue providing us with structured training, our coach Sophie Dunnett has been posting our normal Tuesday and Thursday night training sessions on Facebook and encouraging everyone to say how they got on in completing them.
"This has provided a new place to be accountable for getting your training done and also a place to chat virtually on how your training session went."
Finding new ways to keep a sense of community within NHH, member Hannah Paterson challenged everyone to take a mid-air selfie during their run and share it on the club's Facebook page. "This has provided some fun for us all in capturing the selfie – and being in awe at the height some people can jump," Donna said.
With the cancellation of events, virtual races have become more common. Edinburgh University Hare and Hounds ran a virtual 5k road relay between April 1 and 4, with two teams from NHH taking part.
Team Miller, made up Connor, Chloe, Ross and Charlotte Miller, and Fuelled by Gin, consisting of Rebecca Sinclair, Mel Hayes, Julieanne Leslie and Julie Douglas, each ran 5k, adhering to government guidelines.
NHH decided to run its own virtual challenge over three weekends for club members and their families, with the distance increasing each weekend from 3k to 5k to 10k, and with shorter distances on offer for those aged under 14.
Runners have to complete their run within a set period over the weekend and send in their times, with the results calculated using the WAVA (World Association of Veteran Athletes) scale. This uses run time, gender and age to determine a result.
The first of the challenges saw 77 people completing the 3k (running and walking). Donna added: "We were particularly delighted with the mini-Harriers who took part – they were fantastic!"