The pandemic struck when the running community was shaken by fear. Races across the country started cancelling in chilling sequence as a result. Boston Marathon, the iconic race, held out hope by rescheduling its date from mid-April to October. The October race was cancelled. This was the first time that the race had been cancelled in its 123-year history.
Many runners long for race experience but it is clear that most races will not be returning online in the foreseeable future. What can a runner do in this new environment? What can we do to experience the excitement and thrill of racing in this new environment? Virtual racing is one way to experience the thrill of racing in this current situation.
Virtual races are a popular alternative for traditional racing. They come in many flavors. Virtual races can be used as distance challenges such as 5K, 10K or half-marathon.
There might be different rules for the races. For example, there might be a minimum distance that must be covered in a given race day or a number of dates on which participants can participate. Some virtual races have leaderboards and rankings that can be verified using data from your Fitbit. Others are more casual and are structured almost as a fun run. The main goal is to get some exercise on a given day.
The Big Surreal Marathon is a unique virtual race. You have five options for virtual challenges, ranging from a 5K to marathon. There is also the option to run multiple races. You earn more prizes and swag the more you complete. You have plenty of time to complete multiple challenges, and the race window remains open for 30 days.
Virtual after-parties are a common feature of many virtual races. Zoom is always inspiring to see thousands of smiling Zoom participants talking about their race experiences and general life.
Virtual racing allows me to stay motivated and reach my goals in a time where it seems even more important than ever. Virtual racing is a way to cross a finish line in a world that is full of uncertainty. It’s a comforting thing.
Dean Karnazes Fitbit blog explains the virtues of virtual racing.
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