Thursday, November 26, 2015

Virtual Runs

If you've been following this blog, or have seen some of my twitter or Facebook posting, you know that I enjoy entering and participating in races. While running is good on its own, and offers a great opportunity to exercise and to get out from behind the computer or television, there's something about running in a race. I know from talking with some people, they say they're not competitive and they just do it for fun, it is when you line up that something happens. Also, a race let's you know there are other people who share you love of running. Plus it's a good way to see how you are doing. I will also say that your number one competitor is the person you see in the mirror. After all, you are taking on a challenge that has meant a lot of hours and a lot of miles on a road, or trail. Okay, perhaps some time spent on a treadmill. But I do wonder about that.

I recently did a run in Cambridge, the RememberRun. It's another one of those great runs set up and sponsored by Run Waterloo. it is one of the great groups for running in the area. When they put on a race, it's a very professional experience. They know how to do things, from the moment you enter the site to when you leave. The registration is fast, they get you the tee-shirt promptly and they offer amenities such as bag check, food and a good place to have a massage. The race I did, and it was my 3rd one, raises funds for the local Royal Canadian Legion Hall. Another good thing about the group, they sponsor some very great local charities. If you visit the website, you will notice they offer a fair number of events, a race for all types of people and all types of distances. A good time can be had by all. Besides this race, I've done three others and I'm sure as long as I'm in the area, I will participate in various races.

This year they offered a longer distance for the long race. But this year, I decided to go back and do the 5K. I've been doing the tapering after the half, so I didn't have a great deal of time with the longer 11 Km distance. I didn't want to do anything which would lead to another injury. I want to stay safe. The 5K was good, a nice track was measured out, fortunately I missed the train, which can be a problem with the later runners. It gives the runner a chance to experience both road running and some trail runner. Trails can be challenging, in fact a runner before me had a fall, fortunately the runner beside her did stop and help her, hey I would have helped if he hadn't done that. Runners can be very polite and helpful people.

I felt good with the results, another sub 28 minute run. Good and good.

What I've also discovered and decided to participate is the virtual run. I've seen advertisement regarding them as well as reading postings of individuals who have participated. What they are is you decide to sign up for a particular race, but instead of having to go to a specific location at a specific time, you simply get dressed on the day in question, put on your runners, set the smartphone or GPS watch and go for your run. Usually there is a distance and so you run that distance. When you're done, you stop, record your time, provide proof you did the activity in question and send that to the homepage of the virtual run. It's a race where you are. A lot of them will send, via email a race bib with your unique number- they expect you to wear it while you run and a medal afterwards. The photo at the top of this blof is for the race I'm going to do next month. This is called, "Trim the Tree Trot". There is a nice to wear after the race and so you will have the proof you need to say you did a race. If you read the comments, you can also do this on a treadmill, but again I ask, why would you do that? The best runs are the ones done outside. So you send the proof and I notice people will post the maps or photographs of the gps watch as the proof. A week or so later, you'll get the medal in the mail. How sweet is that? More bling for the runner.

As other races, there is a charity involved and it makes is something fun to do that help others. The cost is no different then a regular race and the difference may be a tee shirt or not. Then again, most runs have a limit for their tees. Still the medal will be yours. There is a lot of virtual races out there and something will get your attention if you do the search.

I'm looking forward to the moment when I put on the bib and do a run. While whatever food I choose to have will be whatever is available in the home when I get back, there might be a few pluses, one being my own bathroom versus the line up at the porta-john.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Cheers all.

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