By David Saunders, Health Editor | UPDATED: 07:42, 08 November 2019
The Vitality Running World Cup (VRWC) have announced the kick-off of a mass running movement designed to encourage people to Move More and get more active.
Taking place in 2020, from 5th March – 5th April, the Vitality Running World Cup gives everyone the chance to represent their country in an annual, free-to-enter, knockout, global running competition. Open to anyone, every participant who completes 3 kilometres in under 30 minutes on a smartphone or fitness device contributes towards their country’s total. Participation is free by signing-up at www.runningworldcup.com.
Three iconic Olympic Gold medallists have been named as country captains for the VRWC, each encouraging their respective nations to lace up and take part.
The eight-time gold medallist Usain Bolt will captain Jamaica, the 2012 Olympic gold medallist and Vitality Ambassador for the UK, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill will captain the UK, and Rio 2016 Champion and Discovery Vitality Ambassador Wayde van Niekerk will lead for South Africa. A host of further captains will be announced soon.
As the world’s largest behaviour change platform linked to insurance, Vitality has a history of using incentives and partnerships to influence and positively change people’s behaviour, in particular around physical activity.
Commenting on the Vitality Running World Cup, Discovery Group Chief Executive and founder of Vitality, Adrian Gore said: “Vitality has successfully been incentivising people to move more for over 20 years, and the Vitality Running World Cup is an exciting new initiative linked directly to our bold commitment to help make 100 million people 20% more active by 2025. We invite everyone to join and become part of our global movement.”
The announcement was made at an event hosted by Vitality to launch a ground-breaking study on the benefits of regular exercise on economic growth, workforce productivity and life expectancy, evidencing the power of fit bodies to drive fit economies.
Nick Beresford, founder of The Running World Cup in 2018, commented: “We are thrilled to work with Vitality – their passion and vision for getting more people moving is the exact reason why this competition exists. The Vitality Running World Cup gives everyone a chance to take pride in where they are from and represent their country whilst encouraging an active and healthy lifestyle. No matter your running ability, every kilometre will help your country’s chance of winning. We hope to inspire the next generation of runners and get over 1 million people participating.”
Country captain for Jamaica, Usain Bolt, commented: “Nothing made me prouder in my career than running for my country – and this event is giving everyone the chance to do the same, no matter their level. I hope by being part of this and leading my country, I can help inspire people across the world to get involved. Good luck to all the countries taking part – especially Jamaica!”
Country captain for the UK and Vitality Ambassador for the UK, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill commented: “It’s a real honour to be holding the position of captain for the UK in this competition. By taking part, millions of people will now have the chance to run for their country, which is a fantastic opportunity.
I have always got so much out of sport and with this event being 3k or more, I believe it will appeal to so many people. Whether you’ve never run before, or are an experienced runner, I hope you’ll all come together with me and start clocking up those runs next year.”
Participating in the competition is simple; individuals can register via www.runningworldcup.com and every run registered via a smartphone or fitness device which is at least 3km within 30 minutes, contributes towards their country’s total. As the weeks go by, countries with the highest number of kilometres run relative to their country size and device penetration will progress to the knockout stages.
Each person who completes their first qualifying run (3 kilometres in 30 minutes) will receive a digital goody bag with over $100 of vouchers and discounts for exciting brands and services. Even if a country is knocked out of the competition, participants can still accumulate kilometres as part of a weekly Vitality goal and be rewarded for it.
To find out more about the Vitality Running World Cup and register visit:
Facebook: @runningworldcup/ @VitalityInternational