Several local runners have already tested their stamina and will power in tackling the virtual T&T International Marathon (TTIM) which started on January 1.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the 39th edition of the TTIM is being run on a virtual platform over three weeks and part of the proceeds will go to the Lupus Foundation according to the T&T Marathon Committee chairperson Diane Henderson.

She told Guardian Media Sports yesterday, that the race is being done virtually for the first time in its history as the distance running community in T&T did not go dormant during the coronavirus lockdown but found creative ways to get their miles in.

Like every year, the participants are running in four categories including the full marathon called the VRM 26.2 miles, the VR 3.1 represents the 5k, the half marathon event is called the VRH13.1 and the ultra-marathon, the new addition for those wanting to really test their metal across 100 miles.

Runners began their timed events on New Year's Day and can participate through January 24 in any of the races. Registration closes on Sunday in each event.

"It has been going quite well. Runners compete in their own course and run their own race," said Henderson. "The running community has adapted to the virtual format positively. It is a very good alternative."

During the first week, participants have already crushed some of their fitness goals choosing a scenic route competing in the exciting and arduous marathon and Ultra Challenge.

She said, "Ten (10) people completed the Ultra Challenge - the Arima through Blanchisseuse to Maracas route - on Saturday night and uploaded their videos."

Participants from home, around the region and internationally continue to select their routes and upload their distances and times to the event portal in the truly international event. No prizes will be given out this year, however, medals of participation will be sent to all competitors.

"Foreigners have signed up and they too will upload their results and their medals will be shipped to them," said Henderson. "All runners are out doing their stuff, keeping active and achieving their milestones. The running fraternity is healthy and very active."

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