All the hype of a Virtual Race

aaa

I have seen the virtual races/event on the Web, Emails, and forums for quite some time and to be honest I was never interested in signing up for one. Yes, I understand the main concept, there is the honor system, you sign up, you run and log in the results. A no-brainer, but there is something about the loneliness of that type of event of it that has never attracted my interest. That is, for me, what a training run is.

Until, as part of the 13.1 series, they added a Virtual race that counted for the challenge. By signing up for the event, the runner has basically a week, a pre-determined timeline, to complete the distance. You then log-in the results with your GPS data (from Strava, Mapmyrun, Garmin, others) and the altitude adjustment. This is how they try to level the plane field because of the different routes and elevation changes. After that, you can see where you stand with final results.

I picked the very first day of the week, a Sunday, to run my distance 13.1 miles. That morning the usual breakfast for a race event. Oatmeal, Latte one hour before the event and a banana at least 15 minutes before. A quick stop to the bathroom, easy no lines since I was at home and ready to go out for the race, a solo race that is. The route of choice, the usual long run route for a 13-14 miler. Some initial uphill, but mostly flat after that. For a race with no other runners near or around you it kind of a little bit weird. There were other runners in the trail, but is hit and miss with the pace and passing some some of them. I kept a good pace throughout the distance. It was a good morning fast run but no PR for the distance. At the end of the run, I submit the results with the required information and link to the GPS info and that was it. Done, now I can say I did it.

Learnings:

  • I think this is a good way for new runners to experience the sign-up process, without much peer pressure.
  • A great way a new runner is able to check the pace and how they stand in an overall, gender and age group.
  • It can provide additional data, used to determine what other events to sign for and what to expect.
  • Also, some of the other runner’s information can be useful to see others routes