Virtual Races and Their Benefits

Amber @ Fit, Foodie Runs

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kay, so you read them all the time, “Sign up for this virtual 5k!” or “Join this virtual marathon!”

Look! People are talking and virtual racing is getting bigger and bigger. “Want to earn a medal, sign up for a virtual race!” but really, what are they?

The other day, I got into a discussion on what a virtual race is on Facebook, then I went to my personal page and there was the same question. Never fear my friends, I’m here to give you the ins-and-outs.

You see, I am a big fan of virtual races.

I complete a virtual race at least once a month and I even have a nice shiny medal for my earned accomplishment.

A virtual race is a race that can be done at any location. You can usually find them by a simple google search through the internet or if you know of a company who does them. A lot of companies offer a medal for completing the race. You sign up and they mail you a medal.

What I love about virtual races:

You may wonder why a person would do this, you run around your neighborhood for a certain distance and grab a medal that you already have on your counter. Yeah I get it, but there’s a lot more to to it.

Benefits of virtual races:

  • These races are more affordable. Let’s say you worked your butt off at running 13.1 miles and want to join a race but can’t afford it. You can probably find a virtual race for as little as $30 compared to $75 or more.
  • Run at your own pace. These races don’t have to be timed at all therefore you can complete it at your own pace. You can walk, run, jog,’s really up to you how you complete the distance.
  • You can run at the comfort of your own neighborhood. Virtual races can be done anywhere so that means in your neighborhood or at your favorite trail etc. Nothing like familiar terrain to get a PR!
  • Run on the date you are available. I don’t know about you but when a race is announced, I call my friends to see who is going. 9 times out of 10, there’s always someone that can’t make it. You and your friends can join a virtual race and run it together…when you all are available! Now there may be an assigned “date” to run but this date is always changeable according to your schedule.
  • Proceeds go to charities. One of my favorite reasons to run virtual races is because most of them sponsor a charity. This means a portion of the proceeds raised goes to a specific charity.

My favorite virtual races:

I am an ambassador for one of my favorite companies, Jost Running. Every month, they work with a different charity and a portion of the proceeds go to that charity. This month (August 2014), the race benefits Camp Compromise, a camp for kids, teens and adults with muscular dystrophy.

Jackson 1

Another company near and dear to my heart is Races for Awareness.

You can check out their virtual races (they have many) and sign up for one of your choice at a very convenient price. They also benefit charities as well such as Organic Farming Research Foundation


or Action for Healthy Kids Foundation and lots more!


I love their races because there are many charities to choose from.

WhoIRun4 is making headway by leaps and bounds. This company is amazing! They match runners with special needs children/adults and runners can participate in different virtual races in honor of them.

I was matched last week (YAY!) to an amazingly cute boy with charming red hair. I have to admit, I could not wait to get out there and run for him!

WARNING: This is a highly participated group, so make sure you have the time to give someone prior to participating!

Before I was even matched with my buddy, I participated in their Miracle of Life virtual race. Here, I received one medal for me and one for my child! The medals even connect like puzzle pieces when put together.

Mother's marathon

So there you have it, plenty of reasons to sign up for a virtual race! I think the real question comes down to which charity do you want to support?

Question: Have you ever ran a virtual race? What are your thoughts?


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