Spartan and SOS Hydrate launch virtual race in aid of NHS

14 Apr 2020

By: Sport Industry Group

Extreme wellness and endurance brand Spartan has teamed up with partner SOS Hydration to launch the UK’s first ever virtual Spartan obstacle course race - with the aim of helping NHS staff during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The free-to-enter competition will take place in homes and gardens across the UK on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th April to support the #HydrateOurHeroes campaign.

Spartan says that, according to research published in Nursing Times, NHS nurses walk on average 5.7km during a shift, a distance roughly equivalent to a Spartan Sprint race. The organisation also points to a 2016 study by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, which found that 45% of on-call doctors and nurses end their shifts dehydrated - something has been exacerbated by the need for staff to wear PPE to protect themselves against the virus.

“Like athletes, frontline NHS staff face tough physical and mental challenges. On a daily basis, we are on our feet for long shifts with little time to rest and the PPE clothing we wear is critical but tiring in hot conditions,” said Dr Blanca Lizaola-Mayo, Post-CCT Fellow in Gastroenterology and Transplant Hepatology, who developed SOS with former British Army officer, James Mayo and British international athlete Tom Mayo.

Medical staff need the right balance of electrolytes to stay hydrated to perform at their best. No-one deserves good hydration more than hardworking NHS staff, which is why we launched #HydrateOurHeroes. We’re excited to partner with Spartan to raise awareness of this important yet overlooked issue.”

Matt Brooke, Spartan Race Managing Director UK & Ireland commented: “At Spartan, we believe that by overcoming obstacles together we can be unbreakable. Never has this felt more relevant to our global community than in the face of the current pandemic. As a thank you to our Spartans on the COVID-19 front fines working around the clock to secure the safety of our nation, we have ensured their next race entry is on us. 

"We’re excited to team up with SOS Hydration to give everyone the opportunity to race for the NHS and donate high quality hydration support, which as any athlete knows, is the key to top performance.”

As an oral rehydration solution, SOS is scientifically proven to accelerate rehydration as effectively as an intravenous drip. It is a cutting-edge, hypotonic electrolyte drink, with added magnesium and zinc, formulated to meet World Health Organisation oral rehydration solution (ORS) standards. 

Emily leRoux, Director of Partnerships at Spartan added: “On the weekend of 18th April, we’re challenging fitness enthusiasts across the UK, to test themselves and have some competitive fun from home by racing thousands of others virtually in this unique event. By coming together as a community and sharing our experiences online, we hope to send a message of solidarity, strength and support to NHS workers who deserve it most.”