Virtual events are a hot new trend in the racing world. I wholeheartedly support it and look forward to its continued growth.
So, what is this whole concept?
You sign up (shockingly, online) and are e-mailed or mailed a bib and whatever other goodies the race offers. (Some send the medals ahead of time, others only when you report your time).
You are given a start and end date to run your chosen distance. You then run it however you want during that time. Most of the longer races let you decide of you want to break up the race or not. The shorter races (5ks) typically say all mileage in one shot.
Again, I wholeheartedly support them for several reasons: It’s a fun event to get people out there working the pavement (or the treadmill, trail, etc). It’s also great for people who are frankly nervous about running/walking in an in-person race. You compete with who you want, even if it’s only yourself and I think that can really help people who don’t have the racing bug to find it.
I personally run them for several reasons: 1) motivation…. it gets my butt off the couch! 2) raise money for a cause 3) FLEXIBLE fun. My schedule is nutty so participating in a virtual race gives me some flexibility.
I’ve heard people gripe that it’s bad that it’s on the honor system, etc. but if you cheat, you’re really only cheating yourself. If you’re the guy whose buying medals instead of earning them (seriously?!?), you’re the one who has to live with that.
My one piece of advice is to look for the races that require some form of reporting-portals, mapmyrun, photos, etc. I think those types add a level of accountability and motivation.
Feel free to ask me any questions and I’d love to hear your impressions of the concept.