Lately, Virtual Race solicitations have been popping up everywhere in front of me. I admit they certainly peak my curiosity, especially lately since I am dying to get back to pounding the pavement (but still sidelined with my injury!). What IS a Virtual Race? It is a race that is run in the location of your choice, be that indoors on a treadmill or on your own outdoor route. You can walk it or run it and many races allow you to split the miles up over days or weeks. Some races take you on your word that you will finish your miles upon registration and some request you submit proof of time. Many have virtual running communities to cheer you toward the finish line. More and more have medals upon race completion (and shirts to purchase) – a little bling is always nice. In fact, you can easily Google, “virtual running races with medals” and just see how many opportunities arrive on your screen. Some virtual races even have prize winners and post official results just like a real race. As an added bonus, many virtual races are significantly less expensive than other races, I’ve seen some as low as $5 entry fees.
Specifically, two virtual races have caught my eye. These particular ones stand out to me because of the charities they represent. Most virtual races seem to support charities. I love to support worthy organizations and I love to run, seems like a win-win. Of course, I can’t run or walk them right now – doctor’s orders. So now I am dreaming of running and wondering about virtual races. I definitely have to try one. It seems like a perfect idea for #trynewthingsTuesday and a great way to add a little intensity to what would otherwise be a regular training run. Goals in any format give us something to work and improve towards.
I guess the pros/cons of running a virtual race are:
|No crowds to weave around/through||No blocked off traffic|
|No lines (for anything) or parking issues||No race day feeling|
|Choose your own route (easy or challenging)||No fellow runners to compete against|
|Adds intensity to a run (extra motivation)||Imaginary “finish line”|
|Run on your own schedule||Not a set date to train towards|
|Race Bling (possibly)||Race swag may cost extra money|
I definitely want to try a Virtual Race once I’m back on my feet. I’m very curious to see if my hypothesis of the experience actually matches the reality.
Have you ever run a virtual race? What do you think about virtual races?