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This Marathon Is Among the First IRL-Metaverse Mashups

Virtual sporting company Raramuri is hosting the first-ever marathon in the metaverse, where runners can earn digital rewards for running real-life miles.

The in-browser event will take place on June 2, this year’s Global Running Day, with early sign-ups currently open to the public.

Registered participants in the 500-person race will have the 26.2 miles they run in real life tracked using their mobile phones or watches; that race data will correspond to an avatar progressing through Raramuri’s virtual course.

“With physical marathons, there are so many logistical boxes to check, and it’s not accessible for a lot of people,” Nam Do, chief technology officer of Raramuri, told CoinDesk in an interview. “To bring people together from around the world, who can all run in their hometowns, connected by our course, we think it’s a very special thing.”

Spectators can line the virtual course’s track and support their favorite runners by emoting a thumbs up or sending non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to their wallets as they sprint by.

Runners will feel a buzz on their phones when they pass a competitor and are encouraged to dress up their avatars in costumes to make the race more theatrical.

The back end of the project is built on the KardiaChain blockchain, in what the company is calling its first “run-to-earn” event.

Runners who complete the marathon will be rewarded with a digital asset to commemorate their experience, which will include their race time and grant early access to future marathon registrations.

Raramuri has been incubated by GameFi investor Iron Sale, a project dedicated to boosting the KardiaChain ecosystem, since 2020.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a “run-to-earn” concept take form in the Web 3 space.

Genopets raised $83 million to build out its Solana-based “move-to-earn” NFT game in October, with a similar project called Stepn raising $5 million earlier in January.

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