The Speed Project is back

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The Speed Project is the ultimate casino game. The footrace from Los Angeles to Las Vegas is a high stakes gamble featuring teams from all over the world prepared to bet big and take risks - some based on skill, most reliant on a heavy dose of luck. If the dice fall your way you end up popping champagne in Vegas - if they don’t, you’re gasping for air somewhere in Death Valley wondering how the f$&k you got there at all.

So it’s not entirely surprising that against all odds, The Speed Project will go ahead in 2020. In a year where everything is cancelled, the renegade spirit of The Speed Project will live on in TSP DIY. We heard some rumours the race was going ahead, so put in a call to TSP co-founder Nils Arend to check it out.

“It was important for us to do something for the running community. With all these other races and seasons cancelling, we wanted to be someone our community could count on.”

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NILS briefing the race starters, 2018

Make no mistake - virtual races are lame. This however, is not another virtual race. It’s a decentralised version of the desert classic, challenging teams (and individuals, but we’ll get to that later) to get creative in how they choose to spend their 31 hours and 15 minutes - the current record time for the LA-to-Vegas run.

Starting and finishing at the same time wherever participants are in the world (September 5th 2020 @ 4am PDT), the challenge for teams is to log as many miles as possible over the period. In relay fashion, no two runners can be running at once - but other than that, anything goes. Have a team member in Paris? As long as they start their watch after your leg is finished, play on.

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The event was announced this week on social media, and Nils explains he’s hearing a lot of different strategies already for attacking DIY.

“Our number one rule has always been “no rules.” With DIY, we’re leaving everything up to the teams. Some are already plotting out a point to point course that matches the traditional TSP route, others are talking of taking over a track or finding the most scenic loop possible. It’s really a chance for teams to get as creative as they want.”

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We'll miss this

So how do you track a race like this? Because if you’re going to put it all on the line for 31 hours, you want it to mean something at the end - in other words, it needs a winner. Strava are jumping in - they’ve raced TSP before, and this year they’re lending their tech muscle to collate and publish leaderboards throughout the race based on synced activities.

As well as the OG team make up (4 men and 2 women) and the women’s team category, there is the freestyle category (as many runners as you like), and a new category for 2020 - solo (!). Now, we knew there were plans for several solo competitors this year in LA (we won’t spoil who we were due to cover), but word has it there are literally dozens of entrants signed up to run solo this September.

“The solo runner experience has always been in the back of our minds - in a lot of ways, it’s the essence of TSP: doing something so gnarly that people think you’re crazy. Between you and me, we’ve been shocked at the number of solo runners registered so far. We underestimated the number of brave souls out there.”

Finally, this is 2020 - a year where more than ever we have to look after each other. That’s why for the first time TSP will have a coordinated approach to charitable giving, centered on racial justice and equality. Stay locked to their social handles for more details on a program that will see teams go head-to-head on a fundraising leaderboard, and also for details on TSP merch that will benefit selected charities.

TSP is the coolest race of the year, every year. Somehow nothing changes, even this year. Keep an eye out in the lead up to TSP DIY as TEMPO brings you more stories ahead of the race, and we may just have something special for race weekend.

If you want to take part in TSP DIY - head to

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