Remember a few weeks back, when I posted about setting goals and succeeding in running a virtual 5k? I’ve become a little bit obsessed about it now. Pretty much when I go to the gym (which I’m trying to do more regularly), that’s what I do, I run (jog, really) my 5k and then do ab crunches and lift a few weights and I’m out. I sweat a lot and feel better about myself.
I’ve even joined a few groups on Facebook for virtual running, including a group dedicated specifically to the RunDisney Virtual events as well as a group for other virtual runs.
But now here’s the problem: I’m doing the 5ks pretty much whenever I go to the gym, which even at my lackluster pace is still a couple of times a week. So the question becomes “what’s the point of a virtual run?” It’s spending money to do something you’re doing anyway, and the only benefit is that you get a shiny medal at the end of it.
Except I think there may be more to it, at least for me. As I’ve written about previously, I like to chart things, to hold myself accountable when I set out to do something. And I think those medals, and the completion certificates, accomplish that. Sure, it’s mental gymnastics, I get that, but it works for me.
The problem I’ve been having though, is that the Disney runs, aside from being incredibly expensive, don’t happen very often. I just finished the Marvel Series and the Star Wars run (which is a virtual half-marathon anyway, not a 5k, but I’d do it in parts) doesn’t happen until January.
So doing a little research, I found a couple of other virtual sites:
Virtual Run Events and Virtual Strides which are both okay. Sure, the medals aren’t nearly as nice as the Disney ones, but they’re also a mere fraction of the cost. They also donate to different charities for each race and Virtual Run Events is constantly running specials and sales, so the cost isn’t great. It just becomes a matter of finding a medal you like, or a cause you want to support, and sign up for that race. My issue is that I haven’t been terribly excited about the races upcoming or many of the old ones (which are still available) because they’re dated and I want to be at least a little honest.
Then someone in the Disney group asked the question I’d been wondering – what do we do in the group when there are no Disney runs? The answers were a list fo several other virtual run websites, but these are specifically geek related so now, I think I’m good.
There’s Virtual Runners US, who don’t have as many runs, but right now they’re doing a Harry Potter house run. And the Pacer Virtual Adventure Challenges or My Virtual Mission, both of which have longer trails leading across natural landmarks all over the world!
Then there’s Random Tuesday, Inc., who run several different virtual running clubs like:
- Whovian Running Club, who put on 5 races a year, all Doctor Who themed!
- Potterhead Running Club, here, we’ve got 6 annual Harry Potter themed runs with a special challenge medal for getting them all done!
- Fandom Running Club, which put on individual runs as well as themed series runs dedicated to geeky movies, TV shows, or gaming.
- Chilton Running Club, based on the Chilton Academy from TV’s The Gilmore Girls.
Now the question is this: Who’s with me to sign up at runs? I figure one a month is about right. We can choose series runs or bounce around. And if you’re on Facebook, we can start our own little group or just join in with others.
I’m going to be doing it, but would love to have some company.