Who can participate?

Everyone in the ZLDR groups can participate! It doesn’t matter your experience, if you can run a whole marathon or just walk a few kms per week, we want to include everyone, and everyone’s contribution will be important for your team. 

If you would prefer not to be on a team, you can run as an individual and track your distance on the individual leaderboard, which can be filtered by gender and age group.

Why do I have to create an account?

You must create an account on this website to participate in the challenge because that is how we can track your submitted distance/points both for the individual leaderboard and the team points.  We ask you for some information about yourself for the following reasons:

  1. Email Address – Your email address will be used as your login name for the website.  We may also use your email address to contact you if we have any questions during the challenge (especially if we are unable to reach you through Facebook, Strava, Zwift, etc).  In addition, you can perform a password reset by having a link sent to this email address.
  2. Zwift/Facebook/Strava usernames – All runs that are submitted on this site must exist on either Zwift or Strava so they can be verified.  Also, all official team communications happen on Facebook Messenger chat, and so this is required for participating on a challenge team.
  3. Running Habits – We ask a few questions during the sign-up process about your running habits so that we can try to make the teams as balanced as possible.  We want the challenge to be fun for everyone and so we do our best to put a mix of various running levels on the each team.
  4. Age and Gender – Age range and gender is requested so that you can see your rankings on the individual leaderboard either overall, by age group and gender.  This information is not required, if you do not feel comfortable submitting it.  The only difference will be that you won’t show up in any of the age group/gender rankings if you do not provide this info.

How do I participate?

This year there are two ways to participate:

On a Team

This is the original ZLDR challenge experience.  Participants are assigned to a team and the members of that team encourage each other to get in their daily running as well as work together to claim as many points as possible in the various challenges.  The teams rankings will be released on a weekly basis.  The challenges are designed to require team members to work together to maximize points, so it is very important that members communicate with each other on a regular basis.


For those who want to participate, but don’t feel they can commit to being a member of a team, there is now an option to run as an individual.  You will not be placed on a team, but you can still track your daily distance ran (with no caps) on the individual leaderboard.

How will the challenge work?

The challenge will start on the first day of the month and end on the last day of the month.

For team-based runners, participants will be assigned to teams, and each team will have a leader (captain). Participants will log their total distance they ran each day whether done virtually (Zwift) or in real life (Strava Activity) on our website.  In addition to the daily distance, teams will have challenges to complete as a team to earn additional points.  Team rankings will be released on a weekly basis.  There is also an individual leaderboard that ranks all runners based on their total distance run during the challenge (the points cap only applies to team points), and this leaderboard can be viewed with all runners, per gender and per age group.

For individual runners (non-team), you will track your daily distance the same as team-based runners, but your distance will only show on the individual leaderboard.

Team points will be capped at at a maximum of 10km (10 points) per day. We understand that the safety of our members is important, so we decided to cap the points to prevent some people from running more than they should. For the personal results, the distance will not be capped, so we can stalk how far our top runners can go, and give them a push.

For those that run more than 10 km a day, you still submit your full distance for the day.  You will contribute 10 points to your team points, and the full distance you ran will be added to your ranking on the individual leaderboard.  For example, if you submit 15km (or 9.3 miles) for the day, your team will get 10 points from you for the day, but on the individual leaderboard your total distance will increase by 15 km.

This challenge is for fun and the primary purpose is to allow people to get to know other members better.  There are no prizes for the winners (either team or individual), so please do not run more than you feel that you should, allow your legs some rest along the way, and listen to your body, always!  

How will the team members be decided?

When signing up for the challenge, you will be asked to answer a few questions about your running level that will allow us to rank you based on your experience. After the signup closes, we will split people into different ranks, and then evenly distribute the participants in the teams, trying to make it as fair as possible. So please, be honest when answering the questions, as this will help us make the challenge as balanced and fun as possible.

Weekly Missions

Every week there will be a new mission for your team to complete as a group.  The missions are often require the team members to coordinate and work together to maximize the points earned.  To see the missions for this challenge, please look at the Missions page before signing up.  The missions will not be changed mid-challenge, but feedback can be taken into consideration for the next challenge.

How can I submit my runs/walks?

After the challenge starts, you will be able to log in with the information you used to sign up, and there will be a page for you to submit your runs/walks.

You will have to choose the day of the run/walk, and type in the total distance achieved that day. Your points will be capped at 10 km/10 points.  This is to prevent those with a strong competitive spirit from being tempted into pushing too hard and injuring themselves.  Even though we will cap the points, you are allowed to submit the total distance you achieved, that will show in your personal record. So if you run 50km,  you will contribute with 10km worth of points for your team, but in your total record it will show 50km.

On the completion of the week (Monday through Sunday) you will have until Tuesday, 11:00pm UTC, to enter your weekly distances. After this time all entries will be blocked.

Any mileage you submit for the day is subject to verification by either a member of the challenge committee or a team captain.  Please make sure that you only submit mileage that is listed on either Zwift or Strava (and as mentioned above, you will submit multiple runs/walks as a single combined entry into the website).

Team Member Expectations

As has been mentioned, the primary goal of the ZLDR challenge is to foster stronger relationships between ZLDR members.  For this reason, many of the missions that teams complete to gain points have been designed around people working together to complete the goals with as many points as possible.  People who have joined a team are expected to be in regular communication with the team so that each team has the best chance of getting as many points as possible.  People who join and team and then do not participate cause teams to earn less points in the missions and are drag on team morale.

We realize that not everyone has the time or availability to be fully engaged in the challenge and that is why we also have the option to sign up as an individual.  Individual runners are still participants in the challenge who can submit their daily distance and have their results included in the individual leaderboard, but there are no expectations around needing to communicate with a team.

So choose the option that is the best fit for you!

The following are the expectations for a team participant.  Many of these expectations are statements that you must agree to on the team sign-up form.

  1. You must have a Facebook/Facebook Messenger account.  This is the official means of communication for the challenge.  Your team captain will set up a FB Messenger chat room for your team to communicate and coordinate on the missions.  If you need to reach out to your captain or someone on the challenge committee about an issue submitting your distance, then Facebook is the best way.  Team captains will be invited to a special Facebook group with the challenge committee members so that announcements can be made (and questions asked/answered) for distribution to each team.  In short, there are a lot of communications that happen via Facebook/Messenger and so not having an account will make it very difficult to stay engaged with your team.
  2. You are expected to check in with your team on a regular basis.  The general recommendation is on a daily basis, especially when it comes to coordinating for some of the team missions.  This is just a guideline, as it just depends on what frequency of communication will keep you engaged with the team.  It is up to your captain’s discretion as to whether you are engaged enough.  In addition, we understand that people my have work trips, vacations, sickness, injury, etc.  Just let your team know if you’ll be unavailable for any length of time, and then there won’t be any problems or confusion.
  3. If you have been assigned to a team and the captain is unable to reach you, then you may be removed from the team and moved to being an individual runner.  This is at the discretion of your captain, so once the challenge starts, be sure to keep an eye on your Facebook messenger account.
  4. If you get injured or sick and feel like you won’t be able to run/walk for a longer stretch of time, please communicate with your captain.  We can work with you to either move you to be individual runner, or perhaps leave you on the team as an inactive member and add a replacement.  We don’t want anyone to feel excluded because of uncontrollable circumstances, so we’ll work together to figure out the best solution.

What are the Team Captain’s Responsibilities?

The team captain is a very important role for the challenge, and with each challenge we need people to volunteer to be team captains.  The more team captains that we have, the more people who can participate in the challenge without the teams becoming too big.

Team captains do have a few extra responsibilities, but that doesn’t mean they have to do all of the work.  A few responsibilities will need to be performed by the captain, but others can be delegated to other willing members of the team.  Some examples are:

Captain-Only Duties

  • Captains will be added to a private Facebook group where you will get information from the challenge committee throughout the month that is relayed back to the team members.
  • Captains can also bring issues back to the committee if there is something that needs to be addressed (scoring problems, website problems, replacements for non-responding members)
  • Captains will report weekly mission scores to the committee (for missions that don’t require a public post with results)
  • Captains will need to set up their team’s Facebook messenger chat group, invite all members, and verify they are still committed to being a part of the team.  Captains can work with the committee to reach out to anyone not responding through other means (email, etc).  Last resort is that the committee can swap out the non-responding member for someone on the waiting list.

Other Duties That Can Be Delegated

  • Team missions will often require scheduling and coordination.  Someone needs to be the “leader” when it comes to compiling availability and setting a schedule
  • Keeping communication/banter/chatting going between the team members to help everyone get to know each other better
  • Recording/Compiling/Summarizing the results of the team missions for submission
  • Writing status reports in the ZLDR facebook group with results of certain missions (if they require publicly posting results)
  • General cheerleading to keep team morale higher
  • (Friendly) trash talk against the other teams

…and likely a lot of other smaller things depending on what the mission is for that week.  But again, the captain is ultimately responsible that those things get done, but can request help from the team to get things completed.

How will the results be calculated?

Team Scoring

  • Every KM a team member runs/walks for the day will earn 1 point, up to a daily maximum of 10 points, per person.
  • Each week will have an assigned mission that will give teams the chance to earn additional points for the team.
  • Some weeks may also have a bonus mission (often non-running related) that can also earn extra points for the team.
  • There will be 2 extra days after the end of a week for all submissions to be entered before weekly scores are calculated.
    • Late submissions will not be accepted after this 2 day period
  • After the cutoff, the scores for that week will be posted on this website, as well as the cumulative total for all the weeks completed up to that point.

Winning isn’t everything!!

While this challenge was designed as a friendly competition, the primary goal is for ZLDR members to get to know each other better.  There are no prizes for the winning team, so let’s keep things friendly and fun.  The teams will be made up of people of various fitness levels, and some may be either new to running or returning from an injury.  Let’s make sure we encourage each other to achieve our own personal running goals during this challenge and not push people to over-exert themselves for the sake of team points.

January 2024 Team Challenge

Wait until the end of the first week to see the scores.