Athletics NI Virtual Road Relay Challenge 2021

from Athletics NI

At a time when traditional road relays aren’t possible due to Covid-19, Athletics NI is hosting an exciting virtual road relay competition to give runners and clubs from across the country the chance to compete against each other, with the finalists getting an opportunity to represent Northern Ireland in a competition against the other Home Countries.

The Virtual Road Relay Competition 2021 will take place in two rounds across the following dates:

  • Round 1: National Round (Saturday 13th February – Saturday 20th February 2021)
  • Round 2: International Round (Friday 19th March – Monday 22nd March 2021)

Click here to enter via OpenTrack!

The competition is open to all Athletics NI registered members aged 15+ and is across a 5-mile race distance. Mixed teams of eight (4 x men / 4 x women) are required to complete legs of five miles per runner.

Clubs can have an uncapped number of their runners competing in the National Round – with their overall result calculated by the times of their fastest four men and four women. There will also be a time trial element for athletes aged under 15 in their various age groups:

  • U11- 1 Mile
  • U13- 2k
  • U15- 3k

The Road Relay competition is hosted via the OpenTrack virtual running platform – with runners able to complete their legs individually (adhering to NI Executive and Athletics NI guidelines, social distancing and competition rules) and then upload their run data as evidence of their run. The junior time trial element of the event will be hosted through the Athletics NI online entry portal and athletes are asked to submit their results to: info@athleticsni.org before Tuesday 23rd February at 5pm.

Runners can only submit one result per runner. Results can be submitted by the individual runner and Open Track will automatically calculate the top four men and women for each club once the competition window closes and results are verified.

The fastest club from the National Round will progress to the International Round gaining the chance to compete for the title against teams from the other Home Nations.

Scroll down for more information on the two rounds, the entry process and rules.

Competition Rounds

National Round (Round 1)

In Round 1, clubs can have an uncapped number of their runners enter into the round in order to ensure that as many runners as possible can take part and enjoy the competition. Clubs’ finishing positions will be based on the 4 x fastest men and 4 x fastest women from each club.

The Qualifying Round will take place during the window of Saturday 13th February – Saturday 20th February 2021 (giving plenty of flexibility to runners over which day they choose to run their five mile leg).

International Round (Round 2)

The winning club from the National Round will be selected to compete in the International Round – where they will compete against the best teams from England, Scotland and Wales to be crowned the Virtual Road Relay Competition 2021 champions!

Clubs will need to name their runners (4 x men and 4 x women), who will need to register for the International Round and complete their runs from 19 March up to 23:59 on 22 March (with run data submitted by the deadline of midday on 23 March). Full details of the international round will be released in due course.

Rules and Further Information

Summary of key competition details:

  • Registration is through OpenTrack for the Road Relay Competition
  • Entry is open to members of Athletics NI only.
  • The relay competition is open to entrants aged 15 and up in line with UKA rules.
  • Teams – made up of 8 individuals – 4 x men and 4 x women (an uncapped number of numbers from each club can compete– with the fastest 4 x women and the fastest 4 x men scoring from each participating club).
  • Race Distances – 5-miles
  • Performances should be submitted online through the OpenTrack portal following the rules outlined below.
  • Athletes must make their runs PUBLIC on their Garmin/Strava etc profile to allow results scrutiny.
  • Performances submitted that do not comply with the rules set out will be marked as non-scoring in the final results and will not be eligible as qualifying performances.
  • Junior Time Trial Distances:
  • U11- 1 Mile
  • U13- 2k
  • U15- 3k
  • The time trial element of the event will be hosted through the Athletics NI online entry portal and athletes are asked to submit their results to: info@athleticsni.org before Tuesday 23rd February at 5pm.

General Rules:

  • Distances must be run between 00:00 on the first day of the competition round and 23:59 on the last day of the competition round.
  • You may only submit one result per runner.
  • Results must be submitted by the deadline of 12:00 (midday) the day after the competition round has ended, using the instructions on the entry page.
  • Runs should be named ‘AthleticsNI Virtual Relay’.
  • Safety – Athletes MUST avoid popular running/walking routes or busy parks.
  • Be considerate to other people by keeping a 2m (minimum) distance at all times when passing in public.
  • Do not drive somewhere to run– stay close to home or your usual training venue.
  • ALL runs must start and finish at around the same point (500m leeway given for GPS errors and to allow for ‘Covid-secure’ routes) – either lapped or out and back.
  • Lapped off-track courses must not include laps of less than 1km.
  • Runs must take place off track (i.e. on roads, trails, footpath etc not on an athletics track)
  • Club group runs organised and supervised by a UKA qualified coach are acceptable for results purposes. (Covid-restrictions permitting).
  • All current government guidelines regarding physical distancing must be strictly adhered to. Any changes to government guidelines will be implemented immediately.

Virtual Road Relay Competition

Online Entry

Junior Time Trial Competition

Online Entry