I know, it sounds weird and pointless but I promise, there are lots of pluses to virtual racing.
First, what the heck is a virtual race, you ask? Well, it’s a race you can run anytime, anywhere at your own pace. You can run (or walk!) your usual route around your neighborhood, do laps on a high school track or run the whole race on a treadmill. There are lots of organizations that host virtual races of all distances and many of them use the race fees to support various charities.
When you register, you may receive a downloadable race bib, a window of time to complete the race, a t-shirt and a finishers medal. Not all virtual races offer these things but it’s more fun if they do! When you’ve completed the distance, you can upload photos and results to the organization’s website or social media sites to share your achievement. You can challenge friends or family who live far away to a race and still have the experience of doing something together.
I love virtual races for so many reasons…
You can run them when YOU want to. You can pick races where you ALWAYS get a medal! That’s reason enough for me and exactly why I did the “Race to Oz”.
Look at this beautiful medal!
You can do a “group” run and it doesn’t matter if there are faster or slower runners in the group. If you’re self conscious about what you look like when running or how slow you run – it doesn’t matter. Some races even let you run the distance cumulatively so if you haven’t run far in training, you can still do longer races. You just complete them over time instead of all at once.
Virtual races make you feel like you’ve accomplished something without the stress, nervousness and hassles of a large race. You don’t have to get up early (unless you like running in the early morning). You don’t have to run in bad weather or park 5 miles from the starting line. You don’t have to deal with crowds or worry that the finish line table will be out of bananas by the time you get there. Most importantly, you don’t have to use porta-potties! Yay!
For me, virtual races help me stick to my training plan. I don’t travel out of town for races but I like having a goal I’m always working towards so virtual races help fill in the gaps when I don’t have a regular race on my schedule.
Here’s a few other medals I’ve gotten for virtual races. I love the uniqueness of them! The Day of the Dead medal glows in the dark and the blue portion of the Department of Mysteries medal is see-through.
Don’t get me wrong, I love real races too, for different reasons, but virtual races definitely have a place in my fitness plan.
Here are some organizations that offer virtual races that I’ve done in the past:
Comment below with any other organizations that I missed.