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RU nning in the Time of Coronavirus

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

The first documented cases of COVID-19 in the United States occurred in January 2020. Within weeks, healthcare workers began taking extreme safety precautions to avoid contagion. Shortly thereafter, the public was either strongly advised or mandated to avoid crowds and wear masks in public. Non-essential businesses closed, schools closed, and traditional outdoor running events were cancelled. Absent a COVID vaccine, nothing is likely to change that will lift these safety precautions in the near term. Hence the explosion of Virtual Races.

We all know that solitary running is an incredibly healthful and emotionally satisfying exercise, but we sorely miss the camaraderie, the competitive challenge, and the motivational force of a live group racing event.

How many times have you run a 5k or 10k filled with repetitive and boring loops, a frustrating maze of turns winding through neighborhood streets, or long hill climbs that sap your strength and spoil your finishing time? Then there’s the weather wild card: driving rain, high winds, icy pavement, or stifling humidity.

A virtual race allows you to run safely whenever and wherever you choose—day or night, indoor or outdoor, alone or with friend—it’s entirely up to you. Do you like to run in the evening while admiring a beautiful sunset, or do you prefer running in the brisk morning air filled with bird song? Do you have a favorite neighborhood course you like, or perhaps a nearby wooded park that offers both beauty and seclusion?

A virtual race may be an opportunity to try an entirely new location. Is beautiful scenery important to you, or would you prefer the flat and obstacle-free asphalt of a high school track? Maybe a home treadmill is your preferred venue. If it’s raining or too hot, you can wait for the weather to change. A virtual race provides the motivation to run without any of the undesirable features inherent in a live group event.

Do you still think you’ll miss the camaraderie and competitive challenge of a live race? Think again! When you’ve finished your run, you simply post your time, upload photos (where applicable), and check the results webpage to see how your times compared with the field.

Runners also receive tangible recognition for their run. Most registrants receive great race swag, including a specially designed tech shirt, matching race medal, and a commemorative bib.


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