Race Questionsa person sitting down and tying their white and yellow running shoes outdoors -virtual race

Virtual races have recently gained popularity because of the Covid-19 Pandemic, but you may be wondering how and why you would participate ‘virtually’. Here is our explanation and how you can participate in a virtual race. 

What Is a Virtual Race 

A virtual event involves registering online and selecting the distance you want to race, much like in-person races. Virtual races differ from other races in that they are not held in one location at a specific time where everyone runs together. Instead, a virtual run is a set race distance that individuals sign up for and can run on their own at a location and time of their choosing. They record their time via GPS device (think phone or smartwatch) then add their time in a database to “race” others, potentially from all over the country (or world)! Most virtual runs give you a time frame of when the race may be completed in order to participate. Many virtual runs offer the chance for online and individual training plans, online forums to connect to other runners/cyclists completing the same run, and so much more.

You also get to choose how and where you race! If running isn’t your thing, but you’d still like to participate, walking is absolutely acceptable. 

You also don’t have a limit to where you race. Some examples of where you could race:

  • Sidewalks
  • Roads
  • Treadmill 
  • Tracks
  • Trails 

What this all means is that registering for a virtual race allows you to set the pace, timeframe and method of your run. You are in control of your experience while still being a part of a racing community striving for the same accomplishment!

How Can You Participate In A Virtual Run 

Virtual races use online registration, where you can pick the distance from the options set forth by the host of the race.  Much like in-person racing, there is a fee attached. However, virtual runs are generally more affordable. The cost to race could be anywhere from $25 to $45, depending on the distance and ‘swag’ you receive at the end. 

Most virtual races will require you to show when and how you participated, through an official online scorekeeping method. At the end of the given timeframe, participants will submit their times to the database and organizers will announce the winners via their respected websites and social media. Most virtual runs award participants with fun medals, apparel, and other swag items like stickers, drinking glasses, and more!

Ever tried a virtual run? What did you think? We encourage everyone to try virtual runs at least once, and let us know if you like your experience.