Virtual 10k smashes all records!

Monday, July 6th, 2020

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We’re rubbing our eyes in disbelief. You wonderful, wonderful Team SpecialEffect runners – over 250 of you! – puffed and sweated and thundered through your virtual London 10ks yesterday to raise a record-breaking £30,000 to transform the lives of people like Chloe. Simply stunning!

This was by far our largest ever team for any event, with every corner of the UK represented, as well as worldwide support from countries like Sweden, Spain, USA, Canada, Mexico, South Africa and even Australia. We even had a supporter cheering on the team in Antarctica!

It was a race day like no other, and began in fine style with a pre-race warm-up on Zoom before everyone set off from home for their respective socially distanced runs. Some of you chose to hit your local park or country trail. Others hit the cliff tops and beaches. One particularly adventurous individual – Pete Morrish from Slightly Mad Studios – decided to brave the high winds and run the length of Brighton Promenade in a giant inflatable Mario Suit! A few serious athletes managed to set personal best times despite not having the usual crowds to cheer them on, whilst others who were attempting a 10k for the first time were just happy to go the distance, however long it took them.

What was remarkable throughout was the feeling of collective endeavour, with everyone sharing their finish times, routes and selfies on Strava and social media. By the time we all reconvened at 4pm for the post-race celebration on Zoom, it really did feel like we’d all been ‘in it together’ despite being thousands of miles apart in some cases!

Below: ready to run (l) and raising a post-race toast (r) Just some of the runners who joined the Zoom meetings to share stories and celebrations

Montage of around 70 runners

Over the past decade the event has provided vital funds to support our work with disabled gamers, adding up to over £150,000 in total. In the currently climate, we really didn’t know what to expect but collectively your running this weekend has so far managed to raise over £30,000, another new record! Huge thanks to each and every one of you and your supporters for your hard work and generosity, it really is appreciated!

As ever, the games industry was a strong presence within the team, making up around 80% of participants. Some of the companies represented around the globe included Rockstar, Firefly Studios, RARE, EA, DICE, Slightly Mad Studios, RKG Video, Climax Studios, Firesprite, SEGA Europe, Sega Hardlight, Universally Speaking, Apple, nDreams, Network N, IGN, Studio Gobo, Ubisoft, Greenman Gaming, ASUS, Devolver, Coop. Innovations, Amiqus, Unity, Playstack, Hanger 13, TAG Games, Good Place Ideas, Sumo Digital, Xbox, Endleman, Aardvark Swift, Creative Assembly, Rocksteady, HP, Namco Bandai, Ninja Kiwi and Playground Games.

Our wonderful business community partners also came out in force, with special mentions to iRepairTech, Urban Element, Virtual Effect, Hornbill, Sonnox, Thomson Reuters, Marstons and the Hobgoblin Harriers, as well as countless other fantastic SpecialEffect ambassadors and individual supporters of which there are too many to name here. A big shout out to the Hutton Orbital Truckers community too, for coming on board in such a big way!

So what’s next? Well we very much hope that the official London 10k will be back next year and that any of you who want the experience of being cheered on by the crowds as you pass the capital’s great landmarks will be able to do so. But it looks like there’s a real appetite for ‘virtual’ events, which by their very nature are more inclusive and can potentially involve many more people around the world.

One thing is certain. Just two months ago, we never could have foreseen this year’s 10k being anything like as successful as it has been, so who knows what 2021 will bring. Anyone for an ‘AR’ London 10k?

Below: Just a few of Team SpecialEffect’s 10k heroes.

Montage of around 70 runners