Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill and Usain Bolt

Vitality and the Running World Cup have announced the 2021 instalment of The Vitality Running World Cup™ (VRWC), taking place 21 September to 10 October 2021. The annual free-to-enter, knockout, international running competition aims to spark a global movement in health by empowering people to be more active.

Always wanted to run for your country? Well now’s your chance – entries are open! The VRWC gives everyone – no matter their ability – a chance to run for their country and be a part of the world’s largest mass participation event.

Taking place from 21 September to 10 October, every participant who runs 3km in under 30 minutes, will be able to earn points for their country. Participation is free by registering at www.runningworldcup.com or downloading the VRWC app.

Country captains, including Vitality UK ambassador and 2012 Olympic gold medallist Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill for the United Kingdom and eight-time Olympic Gold medallist and global ambassador Usain Bolt for Jamaica, are ready and raring to go for this year’s competition.

Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Vitality Ambassador for the United Kingdom, said: “I’m honoured to be the UK Captain of the Vitality Running World Cup. This is a fantastic initiative to get people moving through some healthy competition. I have always got so much out of sport and with the ability for everyone to get involved by running just 3km, I believe the event will really appeal to people. Whether you’ve never run before, or are an experienced runner, I hope you’ll join in the Vitality Running World Cup.”

Participation is simple; individuals can register via www.runningworldcup.com, download the app and log at least 3km in under 30 minutes – the more runs each person logs, the more kilometre points they score for their country. Runs can take place at any time and location that suits the participant, be it your favourite parkrun or running race to your normal daily running routes. Every run registered contributes towards their country’s total and as the weeks go by, countries with the highest number of kilometres run (relative to their country size and smartphone penetration) will progress to the knock-out stages. Each person who takes part receives a digital goodie bag and discounts for great brands and services including Freetrain, Vitruvian, CRX Compression and Green Chef.

The tournament rounds are as follows:

Qualifiers: 21- 26 September

Round of 16: 28 September – 03 October

Finals: 05 – 10 October (top 4)

Nick Beresford, founder of the Vitality Running World Cup said: “The Vitality Running World Cup gives everyone a chance to lace up, get active and run for their country. In an Olympic year, what better time to fly the flag for your home country and take on a new sporting challenge. No matter your running ability, every kilometre will contribute to your country’s chance of winning. We hope to inspire the next generation of runners and create the largest mass participation sporting event in the world.”

Andrew Nepgen, Head of the Global Vitality Network, said: “The Running World Cup is part of Vitality’s global initiative to help encourage 100 million people to get 20% more active by 2025. This exciting partnership builds on our successful interventions over many years in encouraging, physical activity.

“Physical inactivity today is one of the biggest threats to society in terms of its link to chronic diseases of lifestyle, which directly impacts mortality and morbidity. Given recent insights that improved physical activity can build resilience against COVID-19 and improve mental wellbeing – two additional macro health trends in our world – getting people more active every day needs our collective attention. We are excited to be partnering with the Running World Cup to get the world moving more.”

He adds that a broader aim is for all participants to support UNICEF’s immunisation campaign, in the ongoing battle to protect children against Polio. “As runners complete their weekly goals on their Running World Cup app, Vitality will donate a vaccine to a child in need through UNICEF,” says Nepgen.

Sign up today and fly the flag for your country! (all those aged over 13 years eligible for entry)