The Zurich Barcelona Marathon, the first Catalan marathon created in 1978, brings together runners from all over the world. Every year, around 20,000 participants run the course through the city, passing by some of Barcelona's most popular landmarks such as the Camp Nou, Plaza Espanya and Sagrada Familia.
But in 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic forced the organisers of this famous 42km race in the heart of Barcelona to cancel the 42nd edition of the Zurich Barcelona Marathon. Nevertheless, wishing to preserve the motivation and enthusiasm of their international community, the Barcelona Marathon took on a new format by embarking its runners in a virtual race.
The 42nd edition of the Zurich Barcelona Marathon is launched on the VRace by Sport Heroes platform: thanks to Sport Heroes' technology, participants can connect their sports trackers, record their performances and access the race ranking live.
This virtual race experience is free. Participants can also receive their solidarity medal for 5€: 1€ is donated to the scientific research on COVID-19.
Race participants are invited to register directly on the VRace platform. The competition starts on November 8 and runners have 7 days to take up the challenge of running the 42km marathon.
To maintain its magical feel, each stage of the race (5K, 10K, 21K and 42K) is embodied by a Barcelona monument.
In view of the sanitary circumstances and the measures put in place to curb the epidemic, which could limit the places and times of outdoor sports for runners, the organisers adapted. The participants had 1 week to complete their marathon in order to respect the sanitary measures of each region. In one race or several, the objective was the same: to give back motivation and challenge to the community.
Through social networks, the Zurich Barcelona Marathon animates and motivates its community on a daily basis to make them experience the race in real time. The daily sharing of photos, runners' stories, and results on social networks make this event a success.
They are the ones who talk about it the best.
"My name is Martina and I am 29 years old. I have always done sports, but I have never run a marathon before. I did the VIRTUAL 42/7 Zurich Marató Barcelona to challenge myself and to consider, in about a year, running my first marathon."
"My name is Joan and I'm 51 years old. All my life I've done sports, half marathons, marathons.... I have run 10 marathons throughout my life, but in this very special year for everyone, the VIRTUAL 42/7 ZMB was the sporting challenge that got me excited about sports again."
"The virtual 42/7 in Zurich Marató Barcelona was a great personal motivation to run a full marathon in the future. Go!"
collected for scientific research on Covid-19
participants around the world including almost 8000 finishers