We are currently nearing the half way point on Race Europe, our virtual race during the month of March around all of the host cities for this year’s Euros.
So far it has been a great experience – more or less from the comfort of my own home we are currently cycling from Munich to Bilbao – hoping to get our destination by the time this article goes live!
Of course, there is a fundraising aspect to this as all sponsorship goes to the Palace For Life Foundation and the relevant link for donations is here.
Having navigated the initial technology challenges of setting up the My Virtual Mission App (used to record your virtual miles), the Just Giving page for donations, and the squad WhatsApp group to keep us motivated, we were all ready to go on 1 March. We have even had a motivational video from Mark Bright (our squad captain)!
There are three Palace squads competing against squads made up of supporters (and some players and staff) from all eleven London area Premier and Football League clubs. For those not familiar, the objective is to ‘race’ the 6720 miles between each of the cities due to host this summer’s Euros. Virtual miles are collected by any form of exercise (whether indoor or outdoor) and also includes gardening, housework, food shopping and washing the car. With my phone at the ready I have been duly recording my activities each day and am about mid-table on our squad leader board.
In what is hopefully the last month of a full national lockdown, Race Europe has been a great motivator to keep active. Although I generally try to get regular exercise and have continued my usual exercise regime, a virtual race has definitely spurred me on to fit in other forms of activity. So far the highlight was a 50 mile cycle tour, with another of my fellow Race Europe participants, Mark, of a selection of the London football grounds taking in Craven Cottage, Stamford Bridge, Loftus Road, the London Stadium and Selhurst Park. I have also made separate day trips to Canary Wharf and Selhurst Park on the bike which has been great to get me out and about more. In my obsessive quest for more miles I have been walking more and made sure that I have been recording miles for the increased jobs around the house and the garden which has helped to balance out the books at home when I disappear for my rides!
My efforts have paled into insignificance compared to the literally hundreds of miles people have put in cycling indoors and outdoors, running, walking, bowling and more with participants based in South London and as far afield as Germany, Sweden and the Philippines! We also have some of the Palace women squad participating so it really is a whole club effort.
I am looking forward to the second half of the journey virtually visiting a number of cities, which one day I will visit again in real life! In the meantime if anyone would like to help the Palace squads please do click on the link and give us some financial motivation for a great cause!