As races and large events continue to cancel across the United States, this question keeps coming up. Actually, it’s said something like this… “What the heck is a virtual race?!” Usually followed up with, “Why would I sign up for a ‘virtual race’ when I can just run around my neighborhood?” We get it. It seems like a weird concept, right? Hold on before you write virtual races off – I think once you see what makes them awesome, you’ll catch the vision too, here’s why!
- Run Whenever You Want – Traditional races you’re required to be there at a designated day and start time. What if you could pick the day and time to run your race? Not feeling it today, Maybe tomorrow is better! YOU pick the day and race on your terms!
- You Pick the Route – Have a favorite place that you love to run? Traditional races require you to run the route they’ve designated. What if it’s not particularly scenic, or if there are a ton of hills? You can run a virtual race in your neighborhood, at a local part, it’s entirely up to you.
- Do it However You Want – Do you hate running? That’s actually totally fine. You’re welcome to walk, jog, hike, sashay, etc. Just get it done!
- Save a Bit of $$$ – Let’s face it, traditional races can add up. Registration fees, T-shirt, hotel, food, gas, parking, it gets expensive. Virtual races are definitely more affordable because it revolves around you, and when, where, and how you want to run.
- Run on YOUR Terms, but Still be Part of a Group – It is a challenging time and feeling of isolation and loneliness are not uncommon. With a virtual race, you have a goal to train for, which is very important to many of us. Also, you are still a part of an active group of individuals that you can lean on for support, inspiration and advice.
- No Fighting Over Porta-Potties – I know this is silly. Who knows, maybe I should’ve put it higher up the list:p Let’s be real though, porta-potty lines at races and events are ridiculous. The worse part is, when you’ve gotta poop, you’ve gotta poop – at least with a virtual race your can stay closer to your thrown!
- There are NO Time Limits – let’s be real, roadways can’t e closed for a whole day which is why most traditional races limit you to a couple of hours to complete the course. The thing is, that might not be a fit for everyone. We think you should be able to take as much time as you need.
- Run with the Whole Family – I am a firm believer that running is something the whole family should get into. Virtual races let your kids, parents, grandparents – heck, even the family dog a chance to get a little taste of the traditional race experience. If they’re not really into the whole physical fitness thing, maybe a medal is just the ticket.
- No Need to Wake up Before the Sun – Lots of traditional races start really early. This means, to get there and be ready you need to leave at or before sunrise to get there on time. With a virtual race, if you don’t feel like running until 10am – or maybe 7pm works best. Perfect. Do it!
- Nobody’s Judging You – If you’ve ever run a traditional race sometimes it can feel like other people are judging you. Am I slouching? Do My feet hit the ground too loudly? Is my running outfit not matching? Whatever it is that runs through your head, when you run a virtual race all you have to focus on is doing your best!
We hope that this blog helped take away some of the stigma around the virtual race and maybe even inspired you to try one out. If you’re reading this now, there’s still time to register for our Traveler Virtual 5K run & Walk! To get involved, you’ll need to register by Monday April 20th at, https://runsignup.com/Race/WA/YOUCHOOSE/TravelerVirtual5K