Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Shiny Races: Is it Real or Is It Virtual?

Medal for National Veterans Day Run
for both real and virtual 11K finishers.
In a perfect world, I'd like to run a race a month starting in October. And in the process of looking at races that fit my schedule and budget, I've noticed a trend toward "virtual races," or races that you run on your determined path, by yourself or with others, within a prescribed series of dates. The caveat is that you have to submit proof of your run (like the kind I get from Runkeeper) and sometimes a picture. Some times these are free; often there is a cost. If there is an entry fee, it's usually to benefit a specific charity, and you can get a medal/shirt just like a Real World Race.

I admit this sort of thing has a certain appeal to me. I'm obviously very comfortable in a virtual setting.* The external perks are the same for the most part. Plus it fits very well within my schedule. The down side is missing out on the whole race atmosphere; it almost feels like a cop-out not to go with other people--isn't that just a ... run?

Is the bling worth it? Maybe a little. I probably can get Miss involved in "awarding" me (although she will probably want to run off with the medal herself). I think I'm going to do a blend of both Real and Virtual races this year just to keep me moving.

I will definitely Run My Birthday.

* It's how I met my husband and completed the bulk of my graduate degree while working full time. Don't judge me.