With social distancing measures implemented worldwide and unprecedented changes to our daily lives, getting involved in a virtual race could be just the thing to help keep you well, active and motivated. But what exactly is a virtual race?
In a nutshell, a virtual race is a race that can be run at any location, time and pace. You can run, jog or even walk wherever suits you - from alone in the wilderness, indoors on a treadmill or even running around your back garden after the kids. All you have to do is enter the race online and then provide the evidence you have completed the set distance - and that’s it!
As our online and offline lives become increasingly intertwined, virtual racing has surged in popularity in recent years, with converts taking to social media to share their achievements and proudly display their finishers medals - the prize to be had on successfully completing each event.
How it works
A majority of virtual races work in a similar way. You simply choose the distance you’d like to run and pay a small fee to enter - usually a large percentage of this fee goes to charity, the same as with many physical races. Once you’ve completed the race and provide proof that you’ve done it, you’ll receive your medal in the post (and instant bragging rights).
Given the current circumstances, virtual racing provides a safe way for you to continue to run responsibly.
They’re also the perfect way to stay fit and active, wherever you are. It may be that you’re unable to attend a physical race, so completing the race virtually offers a great alternative.
Virtual races are also a great way to stay connected to the running community, as participants are encouraged to share their results, stories and achievements with each other online. This strong sense of community has never been more important, as we increasingly look for online connections while separated physically.
Where can I sign up?
Virtual Runner UK, My Race and Pow Virtual Running are just some of the companies who offer a wide range of virtual races for you to take part in. They offer a mix of challenges and distances, with new races added every month, so you’ll always have something different to aim for.
Find A Race has also launched the Plan B Virtual Race this month, with over 1,000 runners already signed up to take part. RunThrough have made many of their races over the next few weeks virtual and Girls Run The Worldare launching a 30 Day Race Shape Challenge at the beginning of May, with a variety of challenges to take part in, culminating in a virtual 5k.
With many running groups unable to meet up currently, virtual racing can be the perfect way to set your club a challenge that you can come together online to share. Or why not challenge a friend or family member to see who can be the first to complete the race? Remember - stay well, run responsibly and have fun.