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Running is one of the pastimes that hasn’t particularly suffered from recent world events; outdoor exercise has been permitted in most areas and that has led to a resurgence of interest in running.

There is a certain freedom in going out for a run, just a correlation between you and the track. That is enough for many runners, but some seek the extra competition of timed events. Others may be looking to add even further spice to their running activities and, when participation sports become the norm once again, they may look to indulge in a poker run.

The idea of a poker run began with motorcyclists using it to raise money for charity, something many still do. Here in Ohio, Ludlow Falls hosts an annual poker run for an epilepsy charity.

It is not just motorcyclists who can get involved in a poker run though; runners can now take part, too. If you are a runner who also likes to play a hand of poker, this might just be the sort of event that piques your interest. A poker run is a variant on a multi-table game, in which partypoker explains you will move around various tables but, instead of tables, you move around various locations, picking up a card as you go. Each ‘table’ is a checkpoint and you run between the checkpoints, eventually gathering enough cards to play a hand. The person with the best hand at the end of the checkpoints is usually the winner.

In some instances, your running time is adjusted depending on the cards you pick, so the player with the best hand may not win if their time is a long way off the pace. It’s a fun take on the usual running mechanic and a recent event in Sycamore Canyon proved to be very popular indeed. In that race, obtaining a hand such as three of a kind meant that you got 12% taken off your overall time. Labelled the Dirty Feet event, runners could compete over 10k, a half marathon or even a marathon, collecting cards as they went to boost their times.

Other events have also proven popular, with poker fun runs gaining traction across the US. One hosted in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, follows a beautiful part of the country; whilst another in Auburn, Washington sees runners compete over a shorter 5k distance. As they increase in popularity, expect to see different distanced events in your area.

Poker runs might have started out as motorcycle events, but it has begun to evolve into something that you can participate in without the aid of an engine, petrol and a crash helmet. For lovers of the open road, those who like to feel the tarmac passing under their feet, a poker run is available to you too. It affords you the opportunity to train as a lone runner, enjoying the peace and tranquillity, before taking part in a fun event that raises money for charity as well.

Keep an eye out in 2021 for a poker run near you and get involved in this exciting new take on your hobby. If your poker run happens to fall in the colder months, you’d be wise to check out our article titled 35 Cold Weather Running Tips to make sure you are well prepared for the challenge ahead.