First, what are they exactly?
The term, virtual races, defines a race that can be run at anytime, anywhere and in many different ways. Registration is online and the runner can choose a specific distance. The participant will pay some fees and will receive a shirt, a finisher medal, a race bib and more depending on the running company they register with. Participants are encouraged to post their little race recap on social media, as well.
Second, who runs them?
These virtual 5K, 10K, 15K, half or even full marathon races are run by a variety of people. Here is a quick and convenient list of who mostly participates in these virtual events.
- Busy mommy with young children in stroller
- Dog owner
- Runner in a rural area that does not offer many local events
- Weekend workers that can't participate in local races
- Runners that prefer quietness as opposed to crowds
- Runners who like to run in trails
- Runner in training for longer distance; The virtual run is use as motivation for a long run
- Runners on vacation who wants to keep in shape
Virtual runs are not "official" and cannot be used for qualifications of any sort, but runners love them because:
- A portion of the fees go to charities
- They cost a lot less than most big races
- The runner will receive tons of goodies when they register
- They keep your running motivation high
- The runners will get to join a vibrant, online running community