Participating in the best virtual running races was our new way of challenging each other this year. Virtual Races, in case you're not aware of them, are races that you sign up for to run either 5k, 10k, half marathon, or marathon usually and you earn bling for completing them. Bling could include a medal, race bib, t-shirt, bandana, cup, face mask, etc.
But instead of going downtown or wherever to run the race, you do it wherever your want and enter your times online. It works on the honor system usually but some of the good ones sync up with your fitness tracker as well.
We've found that there are two main types of virtual races, those that are given and those that are earned. The ones that are given are simple, you order the bling and they ship it to you. With these, you could totally get away with not doing the race at all. That's not super motivational. But then there are the ones you earn, they don't ship you the medal until you've completed the race and put your times in. These are super motivational.
As such, 2021 already has several races planned.
Best Virtual Running Races
Now I'm sure that we have so many more companies and races to discover and try out... but we've also tried several already. In fact, we signed up for so many races our first year that we both had trouble keeping track of them! Because of that, we created our Virtual Race Journal.
We found that there are many different types of races. The first one we signed up for was Conquer 2020. This race, unlike most others, allowed us to set our own goal to accomplish by the end of the year. Races are usually measured in kilometers, such as 5k, 10k, etc. where as marathons and half marathons are measured in miles. Since this was a year long goal, we made it a challenging one.
Most other races have a set goal for you and it's usually either a 5k, 10k, half marathon, or marathon. There are others that are 100 miles and still others that are a specific distance. For example, the Amerithon race is 3,521 miles to represent a race from the west coast of the United States to the east coast. These longer races tend to be the ones I enjoy the most because they are more challenging. So they really make me earn the bling. I consider them to be the best virtual running races.
A few we've tried:
Smaller Virtual Running Races
There are many, many other virtual race companies that do smaller races for various themes or purposes. We've done some suicide and/or mental health awareness races, pet rescue, several coronavirus related races, sloth races, tiger races, state races... there are just so many to choose from!
Some of the smaller ones:
If you're looking for a new challenge and haven't tried these yet, we'd be happy to make some suggestions! We started with two big races and a bunch of smaller ones. We found that the smaller ones were just too easy, so we didn't feel like we achieved much. But if we like the charity or we like the theme, we'll sign up for it just for the medal and we'll still run or walk the distance to earn it. If you're not used to this level of activity, baby steps!
If you end up trying it out, let us know which races you found most motivating! And maybe even look for us there, perhaps we've already joined. Our team is Sloth Runners when we sign up for team races. We'd love for you to join us. Otherwise, drop us a few lines in the comments box below and let us know what you're up to.
Remember, forget skinny...train to be a fit badass!
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