Tyler Andrews on the Future of Virtual Races and How to Bring Runners Together

The global pandemic has created an interesting challenge for runners. As more people turn to the sport and races have not yet resumed, runners are grappling with a lost sense of community, uncertain training goals, and a lack of events to get excited about.

Global racing

Yet through all this, runners are stepping up in big ways. People are participating in virtual events, shifting their goals to fastest known time (FKT) records, and reassessing their “why” for running.

Today I’m sharing a story about one of the most innovative virtual races that I have heard of. Organizer and elite runner Tyler Andrews had a vision for an event that focuses on:

  • Bringing runners together as a global running community
  • Allowing participants to also be spectators of the race
  • Leveraging technology for precise and fair race results
  • Putting on a great show
  • Fundraising for the Brave Like Gabe Foundation

The logistics were certainly not simple, but Tyler and his team were committed to making this happen. In the word of Benjamin Franklin…

Out of adversity comes opportunity.

And what an opportunity it was to put on a race with runners from all over the world!

Today we get a closer look at this incredible race, what drove Tyler to create it, and what the future holds for racing.

Tyler Andrews Brings Runners Together

Tyler Andrews is a HOKA elite runner and multiple record holder. I had Tyler on the podcast a few years ago when he was gearing up for his 50k world record attempt. He just missed that record but he’s been busy staying fit and going after even more challenges.

That’s our discussion today because Tyler finds himself in a similar situation as the rest of us: training without a clear goal on the calendar. So, he made up his own race!

Recently, he organized the Chaski Challenge where over 50 Olympians and other elite runners raced a marathon relay with live tracking and thousands of other runners participating virtually. There was race commentary by Tyler, Des Linden and Amelia Boone.

This was the most innovative type of virtual race I’ve ever heard of and having it organized by a 3x Team USA member and 50-mile national champion is just incredible.

In this conversation, we talk more about this event, more races that he’s organizing in the future, giving back to the running community, and how you can get involved.

In particular, we dug deep into the “pursuit of happiness” versus the “happiness of pursuit”, as you can hear in this clip:

Please enjoy my episode with Tyler Andrews. And if you have other ideas on how to get runners out there during a global pandemic, let me know!

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Thank You PATH Projects!

Path Projects

PATH Projects continues to be a great supporter of this podcast! I’m grateful for their partnership and want to share more about their products that I’ve been loving because they so durable and comfortable.

PATH Projects is an online-only retailer of high-quality running gear and apparel. That means there is no retail markup, making their products quite affordable.

In particular, I’ve just started wearing their 3” Sykes shorts and they’re a little different from the 5” Sykes shorts (you can see those in action here). The material is thinner and lighter, which is perfect in a performance short, and they’re obviously shorter. I’m not sure if my wife thinks they’re too scandalous or loves them, but I’m wearing them constantly.

PATH uses new technical fabrics, like the Japanese fiber called Toray Primeflex, to create award-winning apparel for endurance athletes. In fact, their Brim shorts and Tahoe base liner won Runner’s World’s 2018 Gear of the Year award. And the Pyrinees hoodie was named one of the best six sweatshirts for running in the cold by Gear Patrol.

You know you’ll be wearing the best when you select PATH Projects!

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