JOG ON: Runners from Whitsunday Running Club haven't let coronavirus stop them as they use technology as their secret weapon to stay connected.
JOG ON: Runners from Whitsunday Running Club haven't let coronavirus stop them as they use technology as their secret weapon to stay connected.

Technology the key to Whitsunday running motivation

WHITSUNDAY runners haven’t let coronavirus stop them from motivating each other as they continue to pound the pavement and track their runs through technology.

When initial virus containment measures stopped the Whitsunday Running Club’s 50 members from running and training together, club president Tim McQuoid-Mason said they turned to the digital world to stay connected.

Through the use of their members-only Facebook group and the fitness-tracking app Strava, the tight-knit community of runners continued to encourage each other.

Mr McQuoid-Mason said it had been an uphill battle to keep motivated at first, but some creative ingenuity was used.

“We met up four to five times a week before the virus so it was a big change to suddenly only be allowed out with one other person,” he said.

“We turned digital though to compensate … We interact online daily through Facebook and we’re always watching everyone’s training through apps.”

Whitsunday Running Club president Tim McQuoid-Mason
Whitsunday Running Club president Tim McQuoid-Mason

“Some of the group were feeling demotivated when this kicked off so we really focused on making some challenges and at the moment we have everyone training for a virtual 10km run against each other at the end of the month.

“There’s even a few runners who have planned to run the elevation of Mt Everest in a week”.

Whitsunday Running Club member and ultra-marathon runner Chris Murphy said the key to keeping his motivation up during isolation had been “making it lighthearted and fun”.

The keen runner took a less serious approach to his morning four-lap run up to the Honeyeater Lookout, posting to the Whitsunday Running Club Facebook group every time he hit the summit.

“If you take it too seriously, it ruins the fun of it,” he said.

“I find keeping the connection with the group is a great way to motivate yourself and your other runners.”

With virus restriction measures eased from this weekend, Mr McQuoid-Mason said there was a chance athletes may be able to run together once again in socially distant groups of 10.

“The other day we staged a bit of a run along the boardwalk in socially-distant pairs and we were stopped by someone wondering what was going on – we probably looked a little funny,” he said.

“We’re a close group with a little bit of everything in us, so we’re looking forward to being able to run together once again.”


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