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The Vitality Running World Cup is off the starting blocks

Press release -

The Vitality Running World Cup is off the starting blocks

  • Entries are now open for the free-to-enter, global event with competing runs from 5 March 2020
  • Anyone over 13 years old, at any fitness level, may participate to represent South Africa
  • Every participant receives a $100 digital goodie bag to celebrate their first qualifying run

Johannesburg – Discovery Vitality today announced that registration is open for the Vitality Running World Cup, the major global sponsorship that enables anyone to run for their country.

Dinesh Govender, Discovery Vitality CEO, says: “This is Vitality’s first global initiative to help encourage 100 million people to get 20% more active by 2025 and builds on our successful interventions over many years in encouraging physical activity. I’m personally excited about getting all South Africans moving more.”

The annual, free-to-enter, knockout running competition gives both active and inactive people the opportunity to Move More. Taking place in 180 countries, from 5 March to 5 April 2020, the Vitality Running World Cup will allow countries to compete against each other for top spot. The country with the greatest distance covered relative to their population wins.

Every participant who completes at least three kilometres in under 30 minutes, anywhere in SA, and tracks their kilometres via an approved smartphone app or fitness device, will be able to contribute towards their country’s total. Participation is free by signing up at

They will be supported by country captains – eight-time gold medallist and global ambassador Usain Bolt for Jamaica, the 2012 Olympic gold medallist Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill for the UK, and Rio 2016 champion and Discovery Vitality ambassador Wayde van Niekerk for South Africa.

Van Niekerk says, “I’m excited to be captaining South Africa for the Vitality Running World Cup, and to have the opportunity to encourage all South Africans to run with me, for our country. The competition gives everyone, regardless of their level of running, the chance to get moving. Together, we can make SA fitter and healthier. Good luck to all the runners and their countries!”

Vitality’s aim: to get people moving 20% more

As the world’s largest behaviour-change platform linked to insurance, Vitality has a history of using incentives and partnerships to influence and positively change people’s behaviour, in particular around physical activity.

“Vitality has a strong track record of encouraging members to make running part of their physical activity routine, towards good health outcomes. Along with Team Vitality, parkrun, MyRun, and the opportunity for members to continuously improve their physical activity goals through Vitality Active Rewards, we hope that more people will find joy in running through the Vitality Running World Cup,” says Govender.

Participants do not need to be Vitality members or Discovery clients, signing up is free and the event is open to everyone. Every participant will receive a digital goodie bag valued at $100 after their first qualifying run. Plus, they will stand a chance to win amazing weekly prizes as well as a grand prize.

Nick Beresford, founder of the Running World Cup in 2018, commented: “We are thrilled to work with Vitality – their passion and vision for getting more people moving is the exact reason why this competition exists. The Vitality Running World Cup gives everyone a chance to take pride in where they are from and represent their country whilst encouraging an active and healthy lifestyle. No matter your running ability, every kilometre will increase your country's chance of winning. We hope to inspire the next generation of runners and get over 1 million people participating.”

Country captain for Jamaica, Usain Bolt commented: “Nothing made me prouder in my career than running for my country – and this event is giving everyone the chance to do the same, no matter their level. I hope by being part of this and leading my country, I can help inspire people across the world to get involved. Good luck to all the countries taking part – especially Jamaica!”

How to enter:

Participating in the competition is simple; individuals can join for free via or download the runningworldcup app and every qualifying run tracked using a linked smartphone app or fitness device contributes towards their country’s total. 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 knockout stages. There are amazing prizes ranging from weekly prizes to a grand prize if you take part – more details to come soon.

To find out more about the Vitality Running World Cup and register visit:

For further information, please contact:

Social channels:

To find out more about the Vitality Running World Cup and register visit:

For further information, please contact:

Social channels:

Twitter: @runningworldcup / @vitalityint

Instagram: @runningworldcup / @vitalityint

Facebook: @runningworldcup/ @VitalityInternational


Discovery information

About Discovery

Discovery Limited is a South African-founded financial services organisation that operates in the healthcare, life assurance, short-term insurance, savings and investment and wellness markets. Since inception, Discovery has been guided by a clear core purpose – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. This has manifested in its globally recognised Vitality Shared-Value insurance model, exported to over 19 countries and reaching over 11 million members. Discovery trades on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange, with a market cap of $7 billion.

Follow us on Twitter @Discovery_SA

About Vitality

Vitality is the largest platform for behaviour change globally, with more than eleven million members in 23 countries. It is a leading behaviour-change programme that easily integrates into insurance and financial services, creating shared value by combining behavioural economics and clinical science to encourage and reward members for exercising more, driving better and spending responsibly. For more information, please visit

About the Vitality Running World Cup

The Vitality Running World Cup pilot team had a big dream in 2018 to get the world running together. Founded by Nick Beresford & supported by several partners and experts, the Vitality Running World Cup hosted over 180 countries in the inaugural 2018 competition and aims to become the world’s largest mass participation sporting event in 2020. 

Press contacts

Felicity Hudson

Felicity Hudson

Press contact Head of Reputation Management Discovery Group 0115294514

Nthabiseng Chapeshamano

Press contact Senior Reputation Manager Healthcare & Sustainability

Munene Khoza

Press contact Senior Reputation Manager Vitality & Wellness

Zeenat Moorad

Press contact Senior Reputation Manager Banking & investments

Shanti Aboobaker

Press contact Reputation Manager Long and short term insurance

Gugu Yika

Press contact Reputation Management Consultant Vitality & Sponsorships 0115298083