Virtual races are becoming extremely popular. I’ve never done one before, but I signed up for two upcoming ones. One is The Great Candy Corn 5k (because, duh) that is put on through Gone for a Run. The other is a half marathon put on by my favorite running podcast: Marathon Training Academy. The 5k is in October and the half marathon is in November. I have many thoughts about virtual races. Here are 19 of those thoughts.
- Will I miss the crowds cheering me on through the difficult parts?
- It’s kind of cool that I can choose whatever route I want for this.
- It’s extra cool that I don’t have to stand in a porta-potty line this morning.
- This is a race, but I’m alone and running a route I’ve done many times before. Will I run at race pace or fall back into a more comfortable pace?
- There is not a finish line for me to wait at and cheer others through.
- No one will be at the finish line to cheer me on!
- This will make me feel motivated to get out and run these specific distances when I might not feel like running those days.
- How many other people are running the exact same distance at this exact time as me?
- Where are other people running?
- Should I take a post-race photo or is that cheesy?
- These medals are really cool.
- I’m sad no one will be there to place the medal around my neck as I head down the finisher’s chute.
- Is it weird that I paid money to run alone today?
- It’s nice that I don’t have to get up extra early to travel to the start line today.
- Will I feel the same sense of camaraderie with fellow racers over social media that I do with those physically running with me?
- I can’t wait to see everyone’s photos of where they chose to race.
- Does anyone actually wear the race bib they mail to virtual racers? If I saw a lone runner wearing a race bib, I’d think the poor sap was lost.
- I’m definitely not wearing the race bib.
- Who will serve me the post-race food?
I’m looking forward to these virtual races, it will be a good experience. But I also think it will be weird. I don’t know if I will sign up to do more virtual races in the future, but I’ll have a “race recap” after each one to let you guys know my final thoughts on these events.
And if you guys have any insights on the pros and cons of virtual races, I’d love to hear them!