Best Virtual Running Challenges of 2023: Guide to Virtual Runs

Best Virtual Races and Are They Worth It?

Virtual running challenges are an excellent alternative when you lack the time, funds, or ability to join live, in-person running races.

Virtual races are becoming increasingly popular among runners looking for a new challenge or simply wanting to try something different.

How Do Virtual Runs Work?

Here’s how a virtual race typically operates:

  1. Register online for the event.
  2. Complete the required race distance at your convenience, either on a specific day or within a designated time frame.
  3. Select your preferred starting point and route.
  4. Upload your race data or finishing time to the event’s app or website.
  5. Receive a certificate of completion and, in some cases, a finisher’s medal from the organizer.

You don’t need any special equipment; all you need is a smartphone.

The great thing about virtual races is that they’re accessible from anywhere, meaning you can participate at any time, day or night.

You’ll also get to choose how far you want to go – whether you want to complete a 5K, 10K, or half marathon.

And if you’ve got no idea where to start, then virtual races are perfect for beginners who want to test themselves.

You can also use your own pace to set your target time, making it easier to achieve goals.

If you’re struggling to motivate yourself to train, then a virtual race could be exactly what you need.

5 Top Virtual Races

5 Top Virtual Races

There are thousands of races and virtual activities to choose from, but we’ve narrowed it down to our top five favorites! Don’t be shy in researching ones, as you’ll be amazed at the variety of virtual races that are available to run, hop, skip, or swim in!

1. Run Across America

This is a fantastic challenge for anyone who loves to run and an excellent motivator for a solo runner.

You can find the events and challenges in the Run Across America app. You must complete each before a specific date.

For example, the Fall Frenzy Challenge lasts from September to the end of October. You can choose your goal to achieve before the end date (between 50 and 500 km). $55 registration includes an entry fee, a route-tracking app, and a choice of merchandise.

You don’t have to be a runner; you can also walk through these challenges.

After registering, launch the Run Across America app so you can track your miles and complete mini-challenges that help you meet your distance goals, earning virtual badges along the way!

2. Lord Of The Rings Virtual Challenge

Told you there was variety! Walk, run, or cycle your way out of the Shire to Mordor and save us from the wrath of the One Ring!

Sing up to this epic adventure, and when you complete it, you’ll be able to claim a medal! Be aware that this is a popular event, so medals do go in and out of stock!

3. RunDisney

Dress Up, raise money, and enjoy everything Disney with these virtual runs! They happen on individual dates, and tickets go fast, so this is one you’ll have to book in advance!

But whether you’re donning your favorite outfit or just jogging along in your sweats, you’re bound to have a great time!

4. St Jude’s Memphis Marathon

With one date, December 3rd, the St. Jude Marathon is a great way to raise money for a great cause whilst getting fit and having fun!

Become a St. Jude Hero, win a medal and a shirt, and help children in need!

Rokman is the perfect place to challenge yourself and have fun while doing it.

6. Rokman Challenge

The challenges are designed to test the limits of your physical and mental endurance and push you to reach your fitness goals.

Each challenge has different difficulty levels, making it accessible to all fitness levels. You can pick the challenge that best suits your fitness level and goals and compete against yourself or with other participants. With Rokman’s challenges, you can stay motivated and push your body to the next level.

Run Rock N’ Roll

What happened to the Rock and Roll Virtual Running Club?

Note that the Rock and Roll Virtual Running Club, which was initiated in 2020, came to a close by the end of 2022.

Meanwhile, Rock and Roll live events are currently thriving, with a full schedule of activities taking place throughout the United States and in select international locations.

Benefits Of Taking Part In a Virtual Race

There are plenty of reasons why you should consider taking part in a virtual race. Here are just a few of the main ones:

1) Motivation

There’s nothing like seeing your name up next to those of your friends and family on the leaderboard.

This will give you a real sense of achievement and motivation to keep going.

Plus, you’ll feel like you’re doing something productive while still being able to spend quality time with loved ones.

2) Training

As well as giving you a chance to see where you stand compared to others, a virtual race can help you improve your fitness levels by keeping you accountable.

By setting targets and completing workouts during the week, you’ll soon notice improvements in speed and stamina.

3) Social Media

It’s easy to forget about the importance of social media when we’re busy living our lives.

But by using it to share photos and videos of your progress, you’ll be able to show off your achievements to everyone back home.

4) Medals

If you enjoy collecting trophies, then you’ll love virtual races.

All you need is the virtual challenge app, which will allow you to track your times and earn medals along the way.

5) Lower Cost

If you’d rather avoid spending money on a traditional race, then a virtual race is ideal.

There are entry fees, but they are not as expensive as traditional races.

6) Safety

Virtual races are safe. Unlike traditional races, there are not big crowds as in marathons, and you can pause the event if you want to take a break.

7) Flexibility

Virtual races are flexible, too. You can run whenever it suits you best, and you can do it alone or with friends and family.

8) Accessible

Virtual races are available wherever you are.

Whether you live in the UK, USA, or Australia, you can take part in a virtual race with your familiar running routes.

Final Thoughts

This only touches the surface of the great virtual runs and sports available.

There’s even a Garfield-themed run, as well as anything you could think of to give you a fun boost of motivation this year! Naturally, virtual races got a big uplift during the pandemic, but that trend is not going away!

Once you’ve trained with virtual runs, you can check out the actual face-to-face fun runs and the bucket list marathons.

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