The Virtual 5K was a part of the Newcastle University Alumni Weekend. It was intended to promote physical wellbeing from past graduates in a supportive environment. The weekend consisted of a mixture of discussion panels, lectures, theatre productions and socials.
In 'The Virtual 5k', alumni from 23 different countries participated virtually regardless of their distance to Newcastle. The goal of five kilometres could be achieved in different ways from running, walking, swimming or cycling.
Participants were encouraged to post photographs and social media posts with the hashtag #NCL5K as evidence. Their time was also recorded through Strava, a website which provides a comprehensive leader board of the participants.
"The time doesn’t matter, you get to run at your own race, at your own pace, and be a part of something special.”
The Newcastle University Alumni team highlights that competitivity is not key to the event. Their post mentions: “The time doesn’t matter, you get to run at your own race, at your own pace, and be a part of something special.”
The Newcastle University Alumni team considers the event to be successful. In a post after the weekend, they have said: “It was AMAZING to see you all be part of Newcastle University Alumni Weekend 2019 on an international scale. Whether you came along to one of our events or took part in our international virtual 5K; we have thoroughly enjoyed it, hope you did too! We will see you next year.”
“The Virtual 5k is a great idea to connect the students past and present all around the world.”
One of the participants, Kevin Sadler firmly believes events such as this is beneficial for alumni around the world. He had graduated in 1991, with a degree of Geophysics and Planetary Physics. According to Sadler: “The Virtual 5k is a great idea to connect the students past and present all around the world. As a lone runner it's very encouraging to see and hear of others taking part. For me, as well as the encouragement, it helps to retain a connection with a place that was a very important part of my life.”