Have you ever found yourself waking up before dawn on a weekend morning, stumbling around in the dark trying to find your running gear, make coffee, and locate your car keys—all so you can drive to a freezing cold race site and stand in line for 20 minutes to pee?
And then wonder why you PAID for the privilege to run 3.1 miles with 5,000 strangers, your only prize at the end a free banana and a water bottle?
If this sounds familiar, you might be a race addict.
(It’s OK. You’re in good company. There are a lot of us out there.)
Running races is a lot of fun—despite the pain-in-the-neck aspects like getting up super early, shivering your ass off while you wait for the starter’s gun, and having to wait in long lines for a cold, smelly Port-a-Potty.
That moment of crossing the finish line and realizing you achieved your goal (and of course posting your finish line pictures on Facebook!!!) is worth the effort—all of your hard training paid off, week after week of faithfully following your training plan and choosing to go out for a run after work instead of happy hour. It was tough, but you did it!
Now, where did I park the car again?
Here’s the good news. There IS an easier way:
If you’re unfamiliar with this type of event, read on to find out my top three reasons to incorporate virtual racing into your schedule:
Most 5K races that you do in person don’t reward you with more than a free banana and a men’s cut cotton t-shirt, which fits your curves about as well as a cardboard box.
A virtual race rewards you with a beautiful finisher’s medal for your collection. And if you’re like me, that collection is hanging loud and proud in your living room as a constant reminder of your accomplishments (you can’t do that with a free banana).
#2: LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Unless you live in a big city, you won’t find a race that starts within walking distance of your front door. Which means you’ll need to get up extra early, drive yourself there, look for (and pay for!) parking, then drag your stuff to the gear check table—all before you even line up for the race!
With a virtual race, you run it where and when you want—at your local park, on a treadmill, around your neighborhood—it’s all good. My favorite place to run virtual races is on a trail near my house—it’s not crowded, there are public bathrooms (with actual sinks, soap, and hand-dryers!), there’s never an issue with finding parking, and, of course, the scenery is lovely:
#3: YOUR RACE, YOUR PACE
Race day can be intimidating, especially for brand new runners. There are hundreds, even thousands, of experienced people at these events, and all of them seem to know exactly what they’re doing. And when that starting gun is fired? Everyone takes off like a shot, leaving you in the dust. Some races even have time limits, and if you fall too far behind, you’ll have the sweep van riding your tail, possibly even giving you a chauffeured ride directly to the finish line. Not making the pace cutoff can be a big disappointment, particularly if you’ve put a lot of time into training for your race.
With a virtual race, there is no time limit, which means you can take as long as you like to complete your event. A virtual race has all the dignity, all of the bragging rights, and none of the pitfalls of running in a huge crowd:
- No stampede of people trying to get ahead.
- Your toes won’t get stomped on by someone who cuts in front of you without looking.
- You won’t be expected to choke down Gatorade from a paper cup.
- No slipping on someone’s discarded Gu packet.
- You won’t get passed by an 80-year-old juggler pushing a double running stroller.
- You’ll get your finisher’s medal no matter what.
What are you waiting for??? It’s time to try a virtual race!
The REBEL RUN VIRTUAL RACE is open for registration!
Click HERE to sign up (and check out the medal below—there’s GLITTER!)