Around The Bay race going virtual for 2021
The venerable Around The Bay Road Race is going virtual for 2021.
Although there was plenty of good news and optimism with the arrival of vaccines, approval for large-scale events such as the Around The Bay will take time, and with a spring date, the race had to make a move.
“The pandemic is an ever-changing situation so we wanted to proceed with an event that was certain and so that lead to the decision to go virtual,” says Anna Lewis, of ATB. “We are hopeful that runners will be training for the virtual Around the Bay Race so they can be ready for an in-person race later in the year.
The race has a long history that dates back to 1894, which makes it the oldest long distance road race in North America. It’s held every spring in Hamilton, Ontario. And it’s that historic character that Lewis says she’d like to bring into the virtual event.
Get Out There first covered Around The Bay back in 2012
“The Bay Race is known for its history and tradition and so we will try to incorporate that in the virtual version with video appearances from some of the “characters” that you would normally see on the route,” she explains.
Participants can run their Bay Race and submit their results anytime from March 25 to April 25. The virtual event also features a new race category called The Hammer and that is participants who run the 2K, 5K, 10K, 15K, and 30K during the virtual race period.
Other race categories include the traditional 2K, 5K, 10K individual, 15K individual, 2x15K relay, 3x10K relay, and 30K
Although the race has a storied history, this past year is one that nobody will soon forget
“This race has endured since 1894, and it has had several challenges along the way including World Wars, construction, and now COVID-19,” Lewis says. “What has helped the Bay Race persevere is the great Hamilton community, its loyal participant base and the many volunteers who contribute to its success. However, this pandemic has unquestionably hindered our ability to continue so participation in the virtual race will help us through this very difficult time so we can meet everyone back at the start line in 2022.”