Image Credit: http://texasrunningpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/running-alone.jpg
First things first, let’s get on the same page. Virtual racing is not running on a treadmill wearing Virtual Reality gear (how dangerous is that!?). Neither is it a videogame in which sporty characters run an obstacle-riddled race where you work out your fingers with a game console, so sorry gamers! Virtual running is actually a marathon you can accomplish just on your own, at your convenience, wherever you want it! Typically, most of the proceeds go to charity, so you get to run for a cause!
Step by Step
- First, you find a virtual race (via online of course!) of a preferred distance that supports a cause you stand for.
- You register and pay for a medal that will be sent to you once you’ve finalised registration.
- Typically, you can download your personal race bib online.
- You get to choose when and where you want to complete the miles, and you can even opt to split it up over several days.
- Once you’ve completed the race, proudly take an optional selfie wearing the medal to show your commitment to health and charity.
- Enjoy some post-run potato chips flavoured with the satisfaction of having contributed to the world’s needy.Repeat when you’ve recovered from your muscle aches and wallet damage.
- This is a typical process, but of course, it will vary from run to run.
Own Time Own Pace
Unlike a traditional marathon that gets cancelled in the event of bad weather, a virtual marathon means you get to procrastinate *ahem* I mean, reschedule your run when the sky showers, when your client has an urgent favour at the last minute, or when you know, the latest Game of Thrones episode is out.
This also means that you get to wake up at a humane time instead of the crack of dawn to collect race packs.
Since you get to plan your route, you can opt to run by any of your favourite places in the city, say the Helix Bridge, Marina Barrage, or a McDonald’s to enjoy a nuggets-o’clock. Running on your own or with a friend means you can benefit from the peace of silence without jostling through crowds.
Splitting the Miles
If you’re attempting a run longer than usual, being able to split the miles up over a few days can avoid over straining. Say you plan to run a full marathon in one day but find yourself exerted to the point of hallucination, you can simply opt to continue your run tomorrow without being robbed of your bragging rights of having completed a marathon.
Since this is pretty much a private marathon run, this is also a personal test you’re signing up for. Without the hype, the surrounding spectators, the finishing line and the endless supply of free 100Plus drinks, would you still be as motivated? Having this personal space gives you the opportunity to learn about what running a race truly means to you.
Since virtual runs can transcend geographical limitations, you get to be part of an emerging cosmopolitan running scene. You’re no longer limited to the traditional races in Singapore or to the charities supported by Singapore runs. Even if you want to create a ‘niche’ Charity Run for Forgotten Soft Toys Under the Bed that you think no Singaporean cares about, a couple of fellas all over the world might be for it. You can also get to take part in themed runs unavailable in Singapore, like Disney and Harry Potter virtual runs.
Because you still get a medal. Period.
“A model that offers more flexibility and liberty than physical races, virtual racing might just be the next big thing.”
Of course, you can’t expect a virtual run to be as much of a pumped-out party as a physical marathon event. But if you’re looking for something new to try out in your free time besides the crazed salted egg-yolk croissants and Hokkaido cheese tarts, this is something you can consider.
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