Virtual Relay



National Virtual Ekiden Relay Champs Briefing Video

May (all month)

This one is purely about your team—how fast can your team of four complete a marathon in virtual legs of 10k, 10k, 10k, and 12.2k?

How it works

  • You all run alone, but your combined times form your club’s Ekiden Virtual Relay marathon time.
  • All teams’ entries require results from 2 women and 2 men.
  • Athletes upload their individual results (You can individually enter a maximum of 3 runs) and an individual’s top times are collated into your team’s times.
  • Be sure to have runners in your team recording a 12.2k entry (6.1k for under 20s).
  • Under 20s will be doing a half marathon virtual relay (5k, 5k, 5k, 6.1k).
  • Clubs/Unis/Schools can have an unlimited number of teams (but only the best time from each runner counts, with 12.2k/6.1k being accepted ahead of an individual’s best 10k/5k).
  • Age groups: U18, U20, Senior, Masters35-49, Masters50-64, Masters65+
  • See FAQ section below for further info

You can enter in any of the following ways:

  1. STRAVA LINK: Submitting a link to a public Strava file via the online entry form.
  2. PHOTO OF GPS: Submitting a photo or screen shot of a GPS file or watch screen clearly showing your time (according to the race distance you are entering). Please email this to after you have submitted your entry online. NOTE: If you are in contention for a National Virtual Champs podium position we will ask to see more detail of the GPS file.
  3. HONESTY BOX: A manual entry into the online entry form simply with a time. NOTE: This receives an asterisk in the results and does not qualify toward National Virtual Champs podium positions.


All athletes participate at their own risk and agree to run as safely as possible and strictly adhere to all Government regulations and traffic rules.

Keep Your Distance: All racing MUST be done alone. The ONLY exception is if you are running with someone from your household (e.g. parent with their teenage kids, couple running together).

Unnecessary Travel: Record your entry as close to home as possible. In alignment with government advice, all of your activity should begin and end from your own home. However, the actual course you run, could be some distance from your home – as long as you run there.
Use Your Feet: Yes, standard running race rules apply. No scooters, no bikes, no roller blades, no magic moving boots. Just you, a watch and your running shoes. All podium position times will be subject to GPS file analysis.
Courses: To win or podium in a National Virtual Champs it MUST be run on an out-and-back or looped course (GPS route verification will be required). Runs completed on a treadmill or point-to-point course will not be eligible for the National Virtual Champs, however, we will accept entries from any courses for participation points.
Running Track: You can use a measured path or athletics track, but do not do so if against current Government regulations and keep in mind that stopwatch times will not qualify for National Virtual Champs podium places—so ideally also use a GPS. Note: GPS times on a track will be analysed for accuracy.
Terrain: Courses should have a net drop of no greater than 5 metres per kilometre.
Safety: PLEASE run on a safe pathway where you will avoid traffic and always give way to any traffic and other pedestrians (allowing 2-metre gaps).
Parents: We ask that all under 16s to be accompanied by an adult from their household on the run (the support person could be on a bike).
Sharing GPS Devices: You are welcome to borrow a family member’s device and Strava account to record your run (we encourage this under 16s to use their parent’s accounts), however please acknowledge in the results both the name of the runner and the Strava account holder.
Treadmills: You can run on a treadmill however gradient should be 1.0 or greater. Treadmill results will be multiplied by 1.01 (to account for variations) and they will not be eligible for National Virtual Champs titles or podiums.


What is an Ekiden? It’s the Japanese word for “long distance running relay” and is usually competed over the total of a marathon distance, and that’s what we’re doing—seeing how fast your team can complete a 42.2k marathon (or 21.1k half marathon for U20s and U18s).

Do you use batons? No. It’s a virtual relay, meaning you run by yourself in your own neighbourhood. You submit your result individually under your team name, and we compile your results to get your team total time.

What makes a team? Every team must have 2 females and 2 males in the relevant age groups. Juniors and masters can run for a senior team but you can only run for one team.

What are the distances of the legs? There are two distances you can run: 10k (or 5k for juniors) and 12.2k (5.1k for juniors). Each team must have three 10k times (5k for juniors) and one 12.2k time (6.1k for juniors). We will select the fastest 12.2k (or 6.1k) time first and then allocate your team’s remaining members to the three 10k (or 5k) legs in your relay.

Do I run for my club/school/uni? Yes and no. Unlike the Virtual 5k Champs, you’ll be running for a specific team (e.g. “ACA U20 B-Team”) rather than just for your club, school and/or uni. This means that teams need to be allocated by your team captain beforehand, so that when you enter your own results they’re entered in the correct team, with the correct spelling.

How many runs can I enter? You can individually enter a maximum of 3 runs. These must be all for the same team and only your best time will count towards you team result (with preference given to any 12.2k or 6.1k times you record).

When do I enter? The race window is for the entire month of May. Enter your individual results as soon as possible after running them. You might enter early in May and get a result on the board, improve it a little in mid May, and then see what the competition has done and lay down your best time at the end of the month (making sure all results are submitted before 11:59 on 31 May).

How do I enter? Run in your neighbourhood and record your time using a GPS watch or device. Submit this time via Please be safe when you run, obey all traffic rules, run within yourself and keep to the current government regulations around physical distancing and use of parks and sporting facilities.

How do I organise my team? Clubs, schools and universities need to get cracking to make sure every member and friend and family of a member is allocated to a team. Each team member should know their exact team name (it needs to be specific like “Wellington Scottish Senior Blue”, not just “Wellington Scottish”) and that you’ve teed up your quickest runner to log the 12.2k or 6.1k legs.

Do I need to be an Athletics NZ member to enter? No. Just like all Athletics NZ Virtual events, the Ekiden Virtual Relay is open to all and is free-of-charge. If you’re not affiliated to a club, school or university, you might enter a team from your household bubble, amongst your workmates or from your sports team. Spread the word and get motivating your team of four!

Thanks to our event sponsors – R-Line and Salming