The question is not why are you joining a virtual run, but WHY ARE YOU NOT JOINING YET?
So, without the elements of a traditional race, what’s the appeal? Well, for one thing, if you are new to running, it is a great way to stay motivated and build your confidence. Having a target, no matter how small, can be the difference between lacing up your trainers, or a night in watching TV in your pyjamas. Virtual races are especially good for people who live in remote areas, work unsociable hours, or have children or other commitments that mean they are unable to predict their windows for running, but who still want the thrill of cold, hard metal in their hands at the end of it.
People like virtual runs because they allow you to be more flexible with when you do your race, it keeps you working toward a goal, and they are less expensive than normal races because there isn’t the overhead cost of putting a race on. If you successfully complete a virtual run, you typically get a race medal and sometimes there are even prizes. There are no age limits and anyone can participate.
Ok, so maybe you already knew all about them, but last night over the past few days I fell down the rabbit hole of virtual races, and I still can’t believe how many are out there. Basically, a virtual race is one that you can run anywhere at any time. Typically you sign up, pay some money, commit to covering a set distance by a certain date, and the company mails you a prize (like a bib, shirt, medal, or some combination of those things). Many, but not all, virtual races have a charity component, too.
A typical first reaction when hearing about virtual races is, “that’s stupid.” And that’s not entirely wrong. Without a set time, course, or race “experience,” why would you pay money to sign up for one of these? But then again, why would you line up and wait (and wait and wait) in a huge pack of people to run a certain path at a certain time, even if it’s raining and you had to get up at 6 am and you’re sick? And beyond that, isn’t any pastime ultimately stupid? Golf, baseball, stamp collecting – why do any of these things? Because they’re fun (to you…)!
Ultimately, virtual races are about fun and motivation – if paying money to commit to running a certain distance and getting a medal to celebrate that run gets you out there, then that’s great! Virtual races are also a way to participate in a “race” without pressure or intimidation. If virtual racing is a way to get more people interested in running, I’m all for it.
Unit 211 Ritz Residences
R.Papa Ave., AFPOVAI 6, Taguig City
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