I was sent a link to virtual race organization and I was instantly intrigued. You pick the race distance, when you want to run your race (in the prescribed race week) and where you want to run your race. After paying the race fee, you get your bib via email and you’re good to go! No dealing with packet pick up! I decided to go for it and signed up to experience what doing a virtual race would be like/feel like.
I had a training run scheduled for the same day my virtual race week started so I decided to run my virtual 5K on the first day. I woke up, got dressed and started the race right outside my driveway! Can’t beat that! No fuss, no muss. I liked that i could pick the day and time to run my race. I also liked that I didn’t have to disturb my sleeping son and cajole him into a jogging stroller. He was still sleeping after I returned from my race – score!
I ran my virtual 5K like i would any other race and earned my fastest 5K time, yet! It did feel a little anticlimactic when there was no one waiting for me at the “finish”. Although, bonus points: My husband had some cold water waiting for me when I walked back into the house! All I had to do post race was shower and send my race time to the Virtual 5K company. In a few weeks they will send me a finisher’s medal! This month’s virtual race theme was airplanes and I cannot wait to get my airplane medal in the mail!
Would I do it again? Sure, why not! I wouldn’t do all my races, this way, but I would certainly add some to my race calendar. It’s so easy to do and I never have to worry about emailing race organizers to see if jogging strollers are permitted. I can map out my own course and make it as flat or as hilly as I want. I think it would be fun to organize your own race and get a few local runners involved. Think about the fun post-race party you could throw! Virtual races are definitely a great way to inject some fun into a training or long run! The virtual race didn’t have the same feeling or atmosphere as an in the flesh real race, but just knowing I would have to submit my time kept it competitive enough for me.
I’m sure virtually running is not for everyone, but for this girl – it worked! I liked the fact that I didn’t just dismiss it and tried something new!