Have you taken a minute to check out the Virtual Runs tab at the top of this page?
Do you have no bloody clue as to what a virtual run is and therefore have avoided that tab for fear that it was something weird that you wanted nothing to do with? It’s nothing weird, I promise.
Go click and read the bottom of the page. It explains all.
Read it? OK.
Some may ask WHY they should do a virtual run. Why not just go do a real race? Or just be a big girl and run with no expectation of a reward for it? Here’s my answers to the WHY:
Some people don’t feel comfortable running with, near, in front of, other people. Maybe they are new runners who don’t think they are fast enough to run with Runners. Maybe they think they aren’t thin/pretty/athletic enough to run with Runners. Or maybe they live in the middle of nowhere and can’t easily get to a race. Tons of reasons could keep people from running in a real race.
Not all of us are naturally inspired to run. There are those Runners that just wake up at 4:30 in the morning and feel bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to run. As far as I am concerned, these are pod-people and need to have their DNA tested to make sure they are, in fact, modern Homo sapiens sapiens. For the rest of us, a little extra encouragement is need, and that can come in the shape of a pan full of brownies (not recommended if running for weight loss) or a shiny new medal (much healthier option- unless you eat the medal. That would cause problems. Don’t do that.)
Another inspiring aspect of a virtual run is knowing that your run is doing something good for the world. Most virtual runs are FUNDRAISERS first and foremost. People are trying to raise money for a charity or cause that means the world to them or someone they love. Yeah, lots of your 5Ks, halfs, OCRs, etc have some charity hooked up with them, but the amount of your registration fee that goes to that cause is kinda wimpy. I remember reading on the website of one of the runs that I’ve done that less than 4% of my registration fee would actually go to the charity they claimed they were fundraising for. Seriously? The first virtual I hosted was Stubby’s Sprint. Do you know how much of those registration fees went to America’s VetDogs ? 65%.
So between race bling and knowing I’m running for someone who can’t, I am a lot more likely to drag my ass off the couch and get out for a run. And as evident by the nearly 10,000 people in the Virtual Runs! Facebook group, lots of other people are encouraged this way, too.
For instance, I probably would never have bothered heading out for a run on the Fourth of July. What the heck was the point? I was just going to gorge myself on cheeseburgers and adult beverages later. BUT I had registered myself and my dachshund, Brutus, for the Yorkie Doodle Dandy virtual run– the sequel run to Stubby’s Sprint. I said we’d do it on Independence Day and we were going to do it on Independence Day.
I ran a chunk of the run on the treadmill at the gym while waiting for Jay to finish his laps in the pool. When we got home, I was going to grab my little stubby-legged running buddy and finish the 5K. Then this came through my neck of the woods:
I’d gladly run in a storm (barring lightning and tornadoes,) but I wasn’t too keen on bringing my long-haired, crud-collecting-on-a-good-day dachshund out in wind and rain. So we waited. Poor little pup was already getting excited to go run with me. And waited. And waited. And then the skies seemed to clear a little bit and I jumped up, grabbed my shoes and the running leash and we hauled tukkis out of the house and into the puddles.
Brutus ran as fast as his little legs could carry him, which maxed out at about 10:30min/mile and averaged 15:30min/mile. Our pace included his potty break that required us to run back to the house because I forgot to bring the little roll of poo baggies.
It drizzled on us and we ran through lots of puddles, but we had fun, got in some exercise, got nice medals around our necks, and put a little bit of money in America’s VetDogs’ coffers.
Then I drank a Mang-o-Rita and Brutus at some chicken jerky from Pirate Paws Barkery, because that’s how we celebrate the 4th!
Don’t forget to go back to the Virtual Runs tab and register for one (or both) of my fundraisers.
You can also check out some virtuals being hosted by friends of Dirt & Frosting: