If you’ve not heard of virtual races before, think of it as back to basics. You’ll have a goal, you’ll have to run – or walk – obviously, and, of course, you’ll get a medal for your hard work when you finish. However, unlike other running challenges, this one has no set time and no minimum distance to run – so how does it work?

HOW DO VIRTUAL RACES WORK?

1. Search for virtual races online, choose one and sign up – choose one that suits you (have a look at our list below for virtual races you should try)

2. Run the distance you committed to in the set time frame

3. Send in some proof of your run

4. Receive your medal in the post!

WHY SHOULD YOU SIGN UP?

There are many people who would love to participate in physical races but are unable to for one reason or another, and this is when virtual races are a great substitute. For many races you may have to travel a distance in order to get to the start, have to get there the day before to pick up your bib and be sure to arrive early enough to find your pace group. The best thing about virtual races is these inconveniences are all eliminated. You can race whenever and wherever you want – even on a treadmill!

There’s also no competition with others. Yes, sometimes this can be helpful, encouraging you to push a little harder but when people start passing you during a race, it’s also possible to feel a little de-motivated. Virtual races allow you to run at your own pace meaning they’re entirely about improving yourself and having fun!

VIRTUAL RACES TO TRY

There are so many virtual races to be found online for all types of runners. Here are our favourites.

Race At Your Pace

For those who want to start small, why not sign up to the Race At Your Pace 25 mile challenge? That’s just under marathon distance to cover as and when you can within 30 days – multiple runs that are two or three miles each? Five five-milers? Two half marathon length routes? How you complete your miles is completely up to you – but if you want your medal, just ensure you keep track.

There are seven different distances – as well as three separate challenges for kids, and another three for those who prefer covering their miles on bike – you can sign up for. If you want to push your limits a little further than 25 miles, why not try 50, 75, 100, 125, 150 or 200?

Run Mummy Run

Run Mummy Run is the leading online running network for female runners, which has brought together tens of thousands of women with a passion for the sport. What once began as a tiny Facebook group now has almost 60,000 members!

Holding different virtual races each month (meaning there’s always a different medal to be earned!), a strong community of likeminded women has been built – one that “values kindness, encourages self-belief, inspires dreams and supports women at every step of their running journey.”

Virtual Runner UK

From 5km all the way up to 100km and beyond, Virtual Runner UK races are not only feel-good for you, but they help so many others too, with a percentage of each sign-up fee going to a very worthy cause. You can even suggest a charity of your choice for proceeds to go to for future events, and if running isn’t for you, walking is allowed too!

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