The management of the Pärnu Two Bridges club has decided to organize this year’s Jüri Jaanson’s Two Bridges race in a virtual way to mitigate the health risks caused by the coronavirus and to ensure security of the participants. This means that the event, which was originally scheduled to take place on Sunday, September 6th in the center and on the waterfront of Pärnu, will be held from September 1st to 14th not at a specific place – one can run or go at a favourable place, whether at home or abroad. The distances completed on the treadmill are also taken into account.
After the distance has been completed the log of the mobile app or a screenshot of the heart rate monitor must be uploaded to the website as a proof, and then the participant will receive bonuses to the desired location. To motivate new enthusiasts, a 5-kilometer trail has been added to the usual 10K. Both distances have two race packages to choose between: with a medal or with a medal and a shirt. As this year’s event celebrates its 20th anniversary, all the accessories are birthday-worthy.
“The decision in favor of the virtual format came unanimously: the health of the participants and the volunteers is first and foremost. The coronavirus spread is not receding yet, scientists are concerned. Our event was planned to take place at a time when the limit of one thousand participants set by the government should end, but it is not worth rushing. It is the beginning of the school year, people are coming back from the countryside, from holiday trips, which is why the risks of a physical event are too high,” said Vahur Mäe, the chief organizer of the event.
According to the organizer, the virtual format has several advantages during these difficult times. “It is likely that those whom we would not normally see in crowded times will start exercising. During the emergency situation many people started running or walking regularly and now is a good time to put themselves to the test. Secondly, this opportunity is a definite one. It can now be seen that there is uncertainty about running events everywhere and registration has come to a halt. Active marketing is not done because it is not known what will happen. Our wish is to firmly say what we are planning,” said Mäe.
If conditions allow, a running track will be marked on the Jaanson’s (shore) path. Such a decision will be made a month before as well as what will happen to the children’s and youth races scheduled for Saturday September 5th. If circumstances allow, a smaller physical event might be organized.
Registration for virtual races takes place here.