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Today, the world’s largest sports participation platform, Strava, has released global data revealing the increase in runners taking up 5K challenges since lockdown began in March. The stats show that more than one million runners took part in the Strava 5K challenge in May, almost double the amount who participated in the January 5K challenge and a 79% increase compared to May 2019.
Data has previously shown we’ve been moving more than ever during the Covid-19 pandemic and the new findings from Strava support this idea. April had the biggest increase in new joiners (32%), with more than 890K new athletes taking part in their first 5K challenge on Strava.
Strava’s Global Solodarity challenge, which encouraged users to log ten hours of activity over the month, saw the highest multi-sport participation of any challenge, with 966,678 athletes coming up with new ways to keep moving during lockdown.
In the UK, data reveals the NHS Active Challenge, which encouraged users to upload two hours worth of indoor or outdoor activities over 12 days was completed by more than 130,000 athletes, with a collective distance of 30,888,599km. Users were also asked to donate at least £5 to the NHS through the Strava Just Giving Page, which has currently raised more than £450,000.
With over 66 million users worldwide and more than 11% of the UK population downloading the app, Strava is keen to report a positive response to people joining the community during the pandemic. They also revealed Battersea Park to be the most popular running route in the UK, with 26,000 completing a run in the South-West London park during lockdown.
A Stava spokesperson said, ‘As gyms and fitness studios around the world shuttered earlier this year due to the global pandemic, many people took to running and cycling.
‘Strava has seen a positive response to people joining their community to exercise in safe, socially distanced ways. Strava launched the SOLOdarity Challenge to encourage athletes to stay active and connected while socially distancing. It was the highest multi-sport participation of any challenge in Strava’s history with 966,678 athletes.
‘Strava has seen impressive participation in its monthly 5K running challenges — more than 1.2 million athletes joined Strava’s May 5K running challenge, about twice the size of the January 5K challenge.’
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