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Do you love the thrill of accomplishment? I sure do! Running challenges my abilities and allows me to prove to myself that I’m capable of more than I imagine. I always enjoy setting goals and working to achieve them, so naturally, when I discovered virtual racing, I was hooked. Here’s why I’m thoroughly obsessed with virtual racing and why you should join me.

Don’t forget to tell me which reason is your favorite in the comments below!

1. Avoid the Crowds

With COVID-19 and “social distancing,” avoiding large groups is not only convenient; it’s necessary.

While an occasional organized race is fun, there are downsides, such as travel times, having to arrive early to find parking, large crowds, or waiting in long lines for packet pick up or bathrooms. When I first started running, this process was a little intimidating. If organized races seem overwhelming, time-consuming, or a hassle, then virtual racing is the perfect solution. You chose the time, date, and location for a relaxing, stress-free run.

2. Run With a Purpose

Most virtual races support a charity by donating a portion of your registration fee to a charity organization. For instance, RunPups donates to dog rescue organizations that help care for abandoned, neglected, or abused pups. Join us!

Shelter Dogs behind fence_Virtual Races benefiting dogs

3. Save Money and Avoid Disappointment

Registration fees for in-person events are usually non-refundable, which is understandable but risky for the participant. Several times last year, I lost my registration fees because of race cancelations due to bad weather. This year, I’ve lost registration fees due to COVID-19. Thankfully, virtual races can be completed anytime, anywhere, without the risk of cancelation—hooray!

4. Enjoy Flexibility

It’s essential to make a plan and commit to training, but here’s a dose of reality: life happens. When unforeseen circumstances delay your race, it’s no big deal, friends. A quick reschedule, and you’re back in business, earning your bling.

5. Get Creative with Your Running Routine

There are so many ways to spice up virtual running to make it unique and exciting. If you’re a frequent traveler, why not use a virtual 5k to explore a new city? Who doesn’t love a destination race, right!? Each race medal will have delightful memories as you run your way around a new city or country or even the world!

6. Stay Connected With Friends

Organize virtual events for your geographically separated friends. Just because you live in different cities doesn’t mean you can’t run with your buddies. Register for a virtual race with a medal, schedule a weekend to run “with” your friends, and share your pictures on social media. Plus, you can use running apps like RunKeeper for friendly competitions or make unique hashtags to compile your race photos.

Running with Friends_three women

7. Avoid the Time Pressure and Course Limits

For a new runner, the pressure to complete the course by a specific time can be daunting. Virtual racing means no unnecessary stress or judgment. You run at your pace and celebrate your accomplishments.

8. Measure Your Running Progress

Every run is not a race! A virtual 5k is a rewarding way to wrap up your training cycle. New runners can follow a couch-to-5k training plan (c25k), with the last run being a virtual race. Even experienced runners can use this as a motivational tool to check training progress.

9. Increase Your Motivation and Success

It’s easier to honor your commitment when there’s a reward waiting. Virtual racing provides two essential elements for effective behavioral change: incentives and accountability. Registering for a race adds accountability, and earning a shiny new race medal offers instant gratification for your hard work.

10. Earn New Race Bling, of Course!

Every run is an accomplishment, and collecting race medals is a fantastic way to celebrate and remember your latest achievement. Anyone can collect stamps, shoes, or jewelry. Collecting race medals is unique because it takes courage to train, endure, and conquer a physical challenge. You don’t just buy bling; you earn it!

Run for Pups 2021 virtual race medal on grass


Are you ready to start virtual racing? If so, I should warn you. This activity can be addicting and may result in extreme happiness and personal satisfaction. Proceed with caution.


Quick! Before you go, what’s your favorite reason for running virtual races? Did I overlook your reason? Let me know in the comments below! I love getting inspiration from my running buddies.

1 Response

L. James
L. James

April 25, 2020

I love getting new race medals. Earning the medal encourages me to push myself a little harder than I usually would. It’s good motivation for sure.

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