MAASTRICHT. Walking or jogging 100 kilometres in the month of February. That is the challenge that UM Sports is putting to the university community. Participants can register their kilometres via the Strava app.
“I got the idea when I read an article in De Limburger,” says Natasja Bekker, handball instructor and initiator of the project. “A gym teacher from Gulpen wanted to keep his students moving during lockdown. He challenged them to walk 100 kilometres in a month. I immediately thought it was fun, so I first introduced it to my handball club.”
It was a great success. “Not only the teams, but parents and coaches joined in as well. Then I thought: maybe we can also do it at UM Sports.” It has quickly taken off here as well. “We have only been going for one day and already there are 150 participants who walked a total of 470 kilometres yesterday.”
Anyone who wants to participate, must download the free Strava app and select the UM Sports challenge. After that it is simple: at the beginning of a walk, you press start, the app then registers your kilometres, when you’ve finished, you press stop. “It is important that you register every walk as a running session, even if you are walking,” says Bekker. “Otherwise, it won’t register the kilometres. A hundred kilometres might seem like a lot, but spread out over 28 days that is 3.6 km per day. The challenge encourages you. For example, it is raining at the moment, and normally I would go to the supermarket by car, but now I get my umbrella and walk.”
To awaken the competitive instinct, Bekker awards virtual shirts every week. “Based on the Tour de France. The yellow jersey goes to the person with the most kilometres, the green jersey to the fastest time and the spotted jersey goes to the person who had the most elevation metres.”
You can register throughout the month via the Strava app or www.strava.com/clubs/UMSPORTS100km