Introducing The Bay Race
For some time, I've been thinking about virtual events. We have done all this work over time with things that are virtual but have a strong tie to a real-world event, so it seems kind of obvious that we'd create one. Recently, I staged a small 'virtual' race for Skyline 50k to see what it was like. The thing I found was that people were really hungry to get outside together. Also, it seemed to me that everything was just a lot more meaningful because of all the stuff we've been through in 2020.
In any event, that crossover between 'doing' and 'meaning' led me to come up with The Bay Race. You can see all about the race on the website so I won't go on at length here. The aim of The Bay Race is to kind of re-think events from the inside out as interactive experiences. So there's a lot of 'doing' in that you have to run or bike 310 miles on some way shape or form, but the questions are more about what it all means (especially as a New Year's race) and how the digital side of the interaction helps people engage that meaning more directly.
This all seems pretty abstract, what I'm describing, but follow The Bay Race and I think you'll see. There are a lot of sport events right now that are being re-skinned as 'virtual' races mostly as a last resort because the live event has been cancelled. Moving into 2021, my guess is that you'll see more events (maybe even from us) that have stronger storylines and lean a little more clearly on the digital part of the experience. And if we do that, we can make the live part richer and altogether cooler.