What is virtual running? Does this mean you put on a pair of VR goggles while sitting on your couch eating Cheetos?
Not at all. With the current COVID-19 pandemic and a world where we avoid crowds of people and large gatherings, the various marathons that are run around the world have suddenly disappeared. The loss was more than just the running when this virus struck our world.
Major Losses Due to COVID-19
Some of the most important charitable organizations in the country rely on money donated through sponsorships of some of the largest marathons to support them. Smaller organizations in local areas also rely on marathons, half-marathons, 10k, and 5k races with sponsorship and entry fees to support the operations of their organizations. Without the capability to gather in large groups and have these races run, what were these different organizations going to do?
Virtual Running Challenges to the Rescue
You’ve probably seen them advertised on social media and you likely know someone involved in them. We’re talking about virtual running challenges. These challenges often require an entry fee and send the participant a medal, a t-shirt, a bib number, and progress items. Some of the challenges offer progressive medals for meeting each goal or one for finishing the race. Progress is tracked on a smartphone app or website to make it fun and easy for participants to enjoy being involved.
Involvement in a Socially-Distanced World
Getting involved used to be a socially present activity. You would work together with others to create something, gather food for the needy, or raise money for a worthy cause. Because of the coronavirus, the social aspect of these activities is gone. That doesn’t mean you can’t get involved. You can enjoy the benefits of one or more of the virtual running challenges you see online and participate with your family and friends from a distance.
Making a Difference
If you want to make sure your entry fees are going to a worthy cause, review what each organization uses the money for. There are so many different virtual running challenges offered today that you can find one that supports nearly everything you want to. Some are made to raise money for local food banks, some to raise money for disabled veterans, others to support cancer research, others to raise money for a scholarship as a way of honoring a loved one lost, and some to raise money for shelter animals. The point is, there are so many of these challenges that you can easily find the one that supports an organization you believe in.
An Additional Difference from Virtual Running
Have you been spending too much time on the couch during the quarantine and once some things were opened again? Are you living in a place where you still can’t go to the gym and work out or the fitness center to get some exercise? If so, you can get healthier through the virtual running challenges. With many to choose from, you can easily find one that fits your goals and allows you to participate the way you want.
How Far Do You Want to Go?
In addition to single-day running challenges, you’ll find several virtual running challenges that offer the chance to go for long distances. Some are themed for a specific area of the country or world to let you imagine you were running or walking on a scenic or historic path. Choose the right challenge and distance to make sure you can build your fitness the way you want.
Create Your Team and Get to Work
One of the greatest benefits of the virtual running challenges is that you get to experience them at your own pace. Some allow you to walk, run, bike, or swim the distance you want to go. Many offer a feature on the site to create a team, which allows you to get your friends and family involved. The idea is to challenge each other to complete the required distance every day.
All Virtual Running Money Goes to the Right Place
Without marathons and shorter running races to support some organizations around the world, turning to virtual running challenges has made a huge difference during the COVID-19 pandemic. With these races and challenges, you can support the organizations you believe in; help raise money for worthy causes and get fit at the same time. Don’t blame the pandemic on your belly bulge, join a challenge, and start to get fit once again while supporting an organization that needs your money.