My latest hobby is virtual races. I’ve been trying to find the motivation to get myself to walk some more and a couple months ago I found the site “Make Yes Happen” where you can pay to enter a race and it tracks your progress either my connecting to one of your fitness apps (ie my Jawbone Up or my Runkeeper app, among others) or you manually loading in the details of your walk and it gives you images from Google Maps along your walks. Some of them also have little pit stops along the way with extra details. Once you finish your miles you get sent a medal in the mail for that race.
After finding MYH I was then introduced to a huge world of other virtual races. I have to say MYH is my favorite because I like that you can’t get the medal until you are done – but I also don’t like having to wait a couple days after you finish it for it to arrive in the mail!!
Another one of my favorites that I found is Hogwarts Running Club. These are all Harry Potter themed races. There are 6 a year and also a challenge and the chance to be a “Perfect Prefect” If you’re just finding out about the site now – they are on their 4th race for the year (which is a BIG one and twice as much as all the others at $50 to enter) but if you missed out on the others for this year there is a “Time Turner” event in the fall where you can catch up on what you’ve missed. Finances permitting, I’m going for a perfect prefect status this year – though the mileage seems to be getting bigger and bigger so hopefully I can keep up! The one that was just announced will be my 2nd.
If you do a google search for Virtual Races TONS AND TONS more will show up and you’ll have to try and keep some will power to not sign up for them all. RunDisney has recently jumped on the virtual race bandwagon with 3 “Virtual Shorts” 5Ks – all representing different parts of Mickey’s outfit. If you sign up for all 3, you can get a 4th Mickey medal and some other swag as well. I’m registered for this one and I’m not 100% sticking to their time line (because I have so many June races to schedule in) so I’ve technically already completed 2 of the 3 races.
There seem to be races for all fandoms – Doctor Who, LOTR, Harry Potter, Star Wars, etc. After going crazy the first month or so signing up for everything, I am trying to scale back. I’d like to try and do all the Disney races and all the Harry Potter races, whatever MYH strike my fancy (African Safari, yes please!) and some others as well, but have to keep in mind it’s not free and I don’t have unlimited funds. I will try to feature some of my favorite races after I complete them on the blog in the future.
One thing to keep in mind if you want to dive into the races as well is that other than Make Yes Happen, most of these races just send you the medal as you pay. (Or on a set date after the sign up closes) so it is up to you to keep track of your miles and hold yourself accountable. I’ve created a spreadsheet where I keep track of what races I’m registered for, what it cost me, what charities it donates to (if any) and what the dates are that are “suggested” for completion. Then I mark off when I start it and when I finish it. For some of you who may be more physically able than me – you can probably do a 5k in one day and not a week like it takes me so it won’t be so bad. But considering I can barely do 1 mile in one go, they take me some time 🙂 (also some do allow you to cycle the miles if you’d prefer, which I have found to be a bit easier and I did do for 1 of my races so far!)