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3 Virtual Races Worth Entering

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Virtual races are becoming more and more popular.  Can’t make it to your dream race in person?  Then just check if it has a virtual race option and join your fellow race participants in spirit.  But does the virtual race experience really match up to the real deal?  Are virtual races really worth entering?  Well, it depends on what you’re after.  Here are three virtual races that might just tickle your fancy.

Oddyssey Half Marathon

Philadelphia, PA.
Philadelphia, PA” by Lee Cannon is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

The Oddyssey Half Marathon, which is hosted annually in Philadelphia, PA, is well-known for its unique and sought-after finisher’s medals.  So well-known, in fact, that people from around the globe have been requesting options through which they could earn themselves one without travelling to Philadelphia to complete the official race.  But what makes this particular finisher’s medal so special?  Well, previous versions doubled as good quality, wall-mountable bottle openers, and based on participant feedback, they’re all the rage.

Race organizers obliged with the creation of a remote race option.  And for a $50 registration fee, remote race finishers are treated to a whole bunch of swag.  This includes a remote race bib, an official finisher’s medal, a race t-shirt and a goody bag.  In exchange for this, remote participants are required to complete a once-off run of 13.1 miles anywhere in the world between 10 June 2017 and 15 December 2017.  Virtual finishers are also requested to share their accomplishment over social media.

So if unique bling is your thing, and you live at least 50 miles away from Philadelphia, get entering!  Registration is now open until December 2017.

runDisney Virtual Running Shorts

2104 runDisney medals.
2014 runDisney medals” by AngryJulieMonday is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Speaking of unique bling, it’s no secret that runDisney never fails to come up with drool-worthy race hardware.  But, since a trip to Walt Disney World or Disneyland isn’t quite in the cards for everyone, you now have the opportunity to earn yourself some runDisney bling wherever you are in the world.  Enter the runDisney Virtual Running Shorts!

The runDisney Virtual Running Shorts series consists of three virtual 5K races, and, in true runDisney fashion, there’s an additional series medal for completing all three.  The race medals are every bit as glamorous as their on-site runDisney race counterparts, and based on the success of the inaugural Virtual Running Shorts series in 2016, just as popular too.

This is one virtual race series that especially the kids are sure to love.  What better way to get together the family for some active fun?  Registration for each of the three 5K races is $39 per person, and registration for the whole series costs $142.  So start saving now – registration opens in the Spring of 2017!

Jeff Galloway Race Weekend

Jeff Galloway.
100927-F-7797P-002” by Offutt Air Force Base is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The Jeff Galloway Race Weekend takes place annually in Atlanta, GA, and has recently been listed as one of “ten events to add to your Atlanta bucket list”.  Race weekend events include the Jeff Galloway 13.1, Barb’s 5K, the “Double G” (half marathon plus 5K) and a Fit Kids Run/Walk.  Good news for out-of-towners is that virtual race options have recently been added for both the Jeff Galloway 13.1 and Barb’s 5K races.  Registration for the 2017 events open in May.

Virtual race pricing ranges from $49 for the Jeff Galloway 13.1 (or $64 for entrants living outside of the US) and $19 for Barb’s 5K (or $34 for addresses outside of the US).  Race finishers adhering to the (rather detailed) proof of race requirements can look forward to their very own official finisher’s medal, as well as race t-shirt.  Virtual options for the Fit Kids Run/Walk or Double G events are unfortunately not currently available.

So, while you’ll no doubt be missing out on many of the perks of an official race, virtual racing still gives you the opportunity to earn some swag, get active with friends and family, and contribute to the official race beneficiaries.  We’re living in an era where your location  isn’t an excuse for missing out on big city races anymore.  So get up, get your family and friends together, and get training.  Measure out a safe virtual race route, and create your own racing fun.  There’s absolutely no reason to miss out!

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