ASICS on Wednesday inaugurated a virtual marathon-distance relay race, ASICS World Ekiden 2020, the ultimate running challenge that will see teams of up to six people from across the globe come together to complete a combined marathon.  Inspired by a century of Japanese running culture, the race will be split into six legs of varying distances, making it perfect for runners of all abilities and experience.

Through the ASICS World Ekiden 2020, ASICS aims to help people renew their connections with each other, enjoy the mental and physical benefits of team competition and re-energise their collective love of sport and exercise with a shared goal.

To help the participated teams prepare ahead of the highly-anticipated event, ASICS is offering them free access to a variety of products and services in the run-up to race day, including training, coaching and expert tips. To celebrate the achievement of everyone who takes part, all teams who complete the race will be automatically entered for a chance to win a bespoke, made-in-Japan, authentic tasuki for the entire team of six runners.

The ASICS World Ekiden 2020 will also combine the best of real-world and virtual racing thanks to a new race platform using both Race Roster™ and the ASICS Runkeeper™ app. From tracking their team progress in real-time on their Apple Watch, Garmin or Fitbit device to ranking themselves on live online leaderboards and enjoying a customised in-race audio experience, participants will experience the excitement, connection and motivation of team competition no matter how far apart they are. They will even have to pass their very own digital tasuki – the narrow band of fabric used in traditional Japanese Ekidens – to each other at the end of every leg.

Trusted voices within their community, ASICS has founded two regional teams to be part of ASICS World Ekiden 2020; an amateur team to discuss motivators of participation; an experience team to share training tips and key race preparations. The first team include ASICS’ regional celebrities and influencers including Singapore actor Zong Zijie, radio host Aishah Sinclair from Malaysia, Indonesia actress Sahila Hisyam, Thai actors Toey Pongsakorn and Neng Sarun Naraprasertkul, Miss Universe Philippines Gazing Ganados, while the second team will be formed by athletes such as Singapore marathoner Serena Teoh, Malaysia marathoner Michelle Chua, Indonesia racewalker Hendro Yap, Thai sprinter Jirapong Meenapra, National Olympian Mary Joy Tabal from the Philippines, and Vietnamese long-distance runner Nguyen Van Lai.

The ASICS World Ekiden 2020 is open to all, with distances that attract all levels of runner. To take part, people can simply sign up for free using Runkeeper™ or the ASICS hub at asics.com/us/en-us/mk/asics-world-ekiden. Teams must complete their relay race between  November 11 and 22, 2020.

For expert advice, training plans and the latest news and information about the ASICS World Ekiden 2020, follow #ASICSWorldEkiden or visit asics.com/us/en-us/mk/asics-world-ekiden.