What Is A Virtual Run?

There are no parking problems. No crowds. No porta Potty lines.

There’s not even an official starting line.

That’s the kind of flexibility offered by virtual races, a new trend in the running community. Runners who sign up for a virtual race register online simply choose their own starting line, whether it’s a treadmill or a neighborhood street. They run the race distance, upload their finishing time and a few days later are mailed a medal.

It may seem strange, but a virtual race is a great option for those who want convenience and is really the only way to race right now because of COVID-19 and the gathering restrictions in many states.

How It Began

Years ago, before national championship meets, high school runners mailed in their times to a national postal competition, and a champion was then selected and announced. 

This was the early model of virtual racing.

It’s unclear when virtual racing made the leap online to a mass audience. Some race directors say it evolved from runners’ requests to participate in physical races from afar. Regardless, in recent years virtual racing has exploded in popularity, mostly because of its flexibility.

The Benefits

There are many people who would love to participate in physical races but are unable to for one reason or another. With virtual races, you don’t need to deal with traffic, parking, poor weather or unexpected schedule conflicts or injuries that might cause you to miss the race. You can take your time, do it at your own pace and have no pressure.

It’s also an easy way to practice race day nutrition and hydration. Virtual races can be used to experiment with new training plans and methods to find out what works best for you on nutrition [and] hydration before and during the race, supplements, resting and waking time before the race, apparel and many other very important factors that can make you or break you on your big upcoming race.

How It Works

Its easy! Select a distance, sign up and pay the registration fee. All Finish Line Runs events allow runners to complete your chosen distance at any time. You can do it all in one segment or split it up over several days. Run it, walk it, crawl it…its up to you.

After you’ve run your race, post your time online and then we will mail a finisher’s medal and t-shirt.

Running a virtual race takes a little bit of planning and strategy, because you essentially play the role of race director and participant. This is a tall task, yet it is also incredibly exciting because you get to call all of the shots: Are you racing a 5k or a marathon? Do you want aid stations every half mile or none at all? What kind of energy pick-me ups’ do you want along the course? Remember that you are worth it, and the training you put in deserves a proper race day experience, so why not treat yourself?

Virtual runs are fun and incredibly rewarding. Are you ready to challenge yourself?

CLICK HERE for tips from Runners World on how to have a great virtual run.