Jurassic Jog

Jurassic Jog 1

 

When I saw this medal, I instantly fell in love with it; so I signed up and prepared to run the 10km required! The race was courtesy of myrace.run and it was described as a virtual race 65 million years in the making…. (I would have gone for 65 million yards, but I can’t resist a good pun).

The plot focuses around the extinction of the dinosaurs and begs the question as to why they died out. They summarise that it was because they got out of shape – it’s plausible! The nominated charity for this race was Bloodwise, the UK’s specialist blood cancer charity.

The Route

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I decided to run somewhere other than the park for this one and so when for a jog along the river Tyne and into town. I crossed over the Millennium Bridge and the Swing Bridge and ended up at the Centre for Life where I happened (not by accident) to run into a Tyrannosaurus Rex…. poster. I completed 10.1km without too much trouble and the only hiccup I encountered was on my return when I had to wait for the Millennium Bridge to lower.

The Statistics

Jurassic Jog
Price £14.00
Distance 10.1km
Time Taken 01:08:49
Charity Bloodwise
Donation £5.00

The Medal

For completing this race I got a super heavy medal, a teabag and some jelly bears. The medal is the logo from Jurassic Park (one of my favourite films) and the T.Rex on it is wearing a sweatband! I love it, it’s great!

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If you fancy running this one, it is available by clicking here from MyRace.run. As far as I can tell there is no time limit for this medal, so I imagine you can compete until they sell out of them.

Have you already run this race? How did you do? Let me know!

Don’t forget to find me on TwitterInstagram and Pinterest [LAOverend for all sites] or head on over to my Facebook page, Virtual Running with Liam for more photos, upcoming races and pictures of Runner’s Bling!

Thanks for Jogging by,

Liam

The Greatest 13.1 September (21.1km)

20170912_173248.jpgI can’t believe it’s nearly two weeks since The Great North Run happened! I didn’t compete for numerous reasons – I can’t run that far in one go yet, I was too late to sign up and I didn’t want to pay the £54 entry fee! However, an opportunity arose to complete the Great North Run race distance in the space of a week running up to the big event. What was the opportunity? A Virtual Race of course!

The race was courtesy of Virtual Runner UK and the plot if you like was to run the distance of The Great North Run over the space of a week (4th – 10th September). You didn’t have to do it all in one go which was handy, as I physically couldn’t! I did it in two runs instead.

The Route

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As I did this over two runs, I decided to run along the River Tyne for my first stint of 10.1km where I passed the iconic Tyne Bridge and ran over the Millennium Bridge and the Swing Bridge. My second stint took me into Heaton Park and Jesmond Dene, following the stream. It rained for this run, all 11km of it. At first it wasn’t so bad, just a drizzle but then, when I was about 5km away from home, the heavens opened. I got very wet!

The Statistics

The Greatest 13.1
Price £12.00
Distance 21.10km
Time Taken 02:19:08
Charity Pancreatic Cancer Action
Donation £2.40

The Medal

For completing this race I got, in my opinion, a quite spectacular medal. It incorporates many of the iconic monuments of Newcastle and Gateshead including The Angel of the North, The Sage, The Tyne and Millennium Bridges, the Gateshead Stadium complete with a fly by of the Red Arrows. The detail is pretty amazing!

20170912_173302.jpgIf you fancy running this one, they have relaunched it and it can be found by clicking here. Be quick though, you only have between the 25th September – 1st October to complete the distance!

Have you already run this race? How did you do? Let me know!

Don’t forget to find me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest [LAOverend for all sites] or head on over to my Facebook page, Virtual Running with Liam for more photos, upcoming races and pictures of Runner’s Bling!

Thanks for Jogging by,

Liam

Virtual Finds #1 – October Races

Welcome to my first Virtual Finds, a weekly round up of what new races I have come across, any new virtual running sites and the latest offers they have to, er, offer. As this is my first one and I don’t know where to start, I thought I’d give a quick introduction into what I’d like to achieve with this blog.

Part of the reason I started this blog was to try and catalogue as many of the UK based virtual running websites and races as I could. This was mainly due to the fact that when I was trying to find any virtual running sites, all I could find were the top virtual running sites in America, which was no good to me!

After some extensive Googling, Twittering, Facebooking and a peak around Instagram and Pinterest, I managed to find eighteen UK based virtual running sites. I have collected them in a list which can be found from the menu at the top of the blog, or simply by clicking here.

I have used a few of these sites so far, including Race the Distance, POW! Virtual Running, My Race, Run and Reward and Virtual Runner UK. I’m eyeing up medals on some of the other sites too.

As we are nearly halfway through September, I have decided to jump to October and try and provide a list of all the races specifically being run in that month. As it is Hallowe’en in October, expect an array of ‘scary’ medals in which pumpkins and zombies seem to dominate…

Click on the Provider names to take you to the medal webpage.

Awesome Virtual Run – A 100 mile challenge throughout the month for a rather elaborate medal.

Go Virtual Runner – Plenty to be going at for the month of October, but no time restricted medals.

Medal Mad Teapot 5km, a 5km ‘I Can Outrun a Zombie’ challenge and a Chicago 26.2 Mile Challenge.

Medal Miles – A rotating pumpkin medal is available for Halloween.

My Race – Plenty to be going at for the month of October, but no time restricted medals.

POW! Virtual Running – A lot of medals spanning a few months. The ones in October include an Iron Man Fast Blast 10km, a ‘That Run was… Poop‘ medal of poop, DOTD series Joker, Harley Quinn and The Caped Crusader, a 10km Run from the Walkers zombie medal and a 5km Nightmare before Christmas medal.

Race at Your Pace – Nothing for October yet, but I imagine they will have a multiple mile challenge.

Race the Distance – Plenty to be going at for the month of October, but no time restricted medals.

Run and Reward – For a 10km Trick or Treat, you can get yourself a glow in the dark Halloween medal!

The Virtual Runner – The choice is yours as to what distance you run to get your hands on a Nightmare Before Running Jack Skellington medal.

Virtual Funning – Plenty to be going at for the month of October, but no time restricted medals.

Virtual Racing UK – 3 medals available in October, a 50km October Virtual Distance Cycle Challenge, an October Wizarding Wonder Virtual Fitness Distance Challenge; 9 and 3/4 km / miles however you see fit and a 5km October Prosecco Run.

Virtual Runner UK – A few time sensitive medals in October, a 5km Kidney Research medal to be completed between the 1st – 8th; a 10km Goose Fair Gallop to be completed between 8th – 15th October; an October 10 mile challenge from 9th – 15th and a Halloween Fun Run (any distance, fancy dress optional).

There’s more; a Go the Extra Mile medal, a 5km / 10km RMR Masquerade Ball, an Alice in Wonderland themed We’re All Mad Here challenge, a Run for Pride lion medal, an October Moo-ver medal for 10km, 1/2 marathon or full marathon, a Run From IT drain medal and finally, a Dog Jog medal!

Virtual Running Events – A 75km month challenge is available along with a Halloween Trick or Treat 5km.

Virtual Running UK – Plenty to be going at for the month of October, but no time restricted medals.

Virtual WarriorThe Jester is available if you complete 15km.

Women’s Running – Run two 5km to earn The Cocktail Run medal between the 2nd – 8th.

Zoom Virtual Races – There are two races available in October at Zoom, a Wicked 5km for a glow in the dark Wizard of Oz medal, and a 5km Trick or Trot for Halloween.

And that’s it for this month! If you would like to see the medals, I have linked them to my Pinterest page, just follow me @LAOverend on Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram.

Alternatively, you can follow me on my FaceBook page @virtualrunningwithliam

Have you already signed up for any of these races? Let me know!

Thanks for jogging by.

 

Liam

Gamma Ray Run

I signed up for my second Virtual Run not long after my first one – within twenty-four hours actually. I was browsing through the POW! Virtual Running website and found some past medals in their merchandise section at £5 each and I couldn’t resist getting the Gamma Ray Run one, a medal of The Hulk looking all huge and menacing.

As this was a past medal, there was no background information to it or anything regarding race distances or charities supported. All I could find out was that it was leftover stock from 2016 and they wanted rid. A bargain in my eyes!

Gamma Ray Run 5km Route

The Route

As there was no race distance as such for this medal, I decided to run another 5km. I pretty much followed the same route as for my BB8 5km through Heaton Park and Jesmond Dene but to make it a bit more interesting, I tried to better my last race time. Thankfully, I was quicker but I bruised my foot in the process so have been limping around everywhere for the last few days!

The Statistics

Gamma Ray Run
Organiser POW! Virtual Running
Price £5.00
Distance 5.00km
Time Taken 00:29:39
Charity N/A
Donation £0.00

 

My Soundtrack

I didn’t plan a soundtrack for this run and just listened to whatever was on my phone – a mixture of Slash and The Stone Gods – it did the job but I’m going to have to put some new music on there for my next run!

The Medal

For completing this race (well, buying the medal), I got a green and black Incredible Hulk medal. The radiation sign is a nice addition too, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t encounter any on my run. I doubt I’ll ever be as ripped as the Hulk silhouette on the medal, even the jeans I wear aren’t as ripped as his!

Fancy buying this medal? Well, I’m afraid you can’t as they’ve sold out!

Mr Bump’s 25km for Charity

As September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, I have decided to enter a virtual race for the charity, Children with Cancer UK. The aim of this race is to run 25km through the month of September and raise £100 for charity – seems simple enough!

I don’t normally raise money for charity, I prefer make anonymous monthly donations. However, seeing as I am getting into this running malarkey, Facebook have cottoned onto this and this charity run popped up as a ‘suggested post’. Selective advertising eh? Needless to say, it worked and I clicked on the link.

There were three options available; Mr Bump’s 25km, Little Miss Sunshine’s 50km and Mr Strong’s 100km. Seeing as I wasn’t sure if I would have enough time in September to run 100km (or even 50km for that matter), I opted for Mr Bump’s 25km. Who knows, I might be able to run more but I find people tend to get a bit miffed if they sponsor someone who doesn’t complete the task set.

I already have 20% of my target of £100 which I am pleased with but I need to turn those ‘likes’ into pounds! I will have to badger my friends when I see them. I doubt I will be able to run 25km in one go, but I will aim to get it done in as few attempts as possible. Seeing as I have already raised 20% of my total I could run 20% of the distance tomorrow morning!

Anyway, if anyone reading this would like to sponsor me, you can do so by clicking here. This should send you to my Every Day Hero page.

Are you doing this virtual run in September? I would love to hear how you are getting on. If it’s something you think you would like to have a go at click here and visit the charity’s web page.

All the best, and I will keep you posted with my progress.

Thanks for jogging by!

Liam

The Kessell Run (5km)

Kessell Run route CertificateI completed my second Star Wars related virtual run this week, courtesy of Race the Distance. After receiving their BB8 medal, I promptly entered their other Star Wars themed runs.

The plot for this virtual run pits you against the Kessel Run from the Star Wars universe and challenges you to run it in under 12 parsecs. As the recommended race distance for the medal was 5km, I was pretty sure I could! [1 parsec is about 31 trillion km, give or take a few cm].

The Route

Kessell Run route

I fancied a change of scenery from Jesmond Dene where I normally run, so visited Saltwell Park in Gateshead for this challenge. The park is lovely and holds a park run every Saturday which circles the pond / lake / body of water. It’s also on a hill. My partner came with me and we criss-crossed our way around the park until we hit 5km. We even stumbled across some Tyneside Rocks, pebbles which have been painted and scattered around Newcastle for the summer.

Saltwell Park 4

The Statistics

Kessell Run
Organiser Race the Distance
Price £12.99
Distance 5.00km
Time Taken 00:36:54
Charity Various
Donation £2.50

The Medal

For completing this race, I got a small replica model of the Millennium Falcon, as well as a certificate. Admittedly, the certificate has spelt the Kessel Run with two ‘l’s, but maybe that’s for copyright reasons. Being picky, Jedis didn’t need an apostrophe in it either, however, the medal is pretty sweet. It has quite a bit of detail on it, including the raised antenna.

 

Fancy running this one? Then click here to head on over to ‘Race the Distance’ and check out the details.

BB8 5k Virtual Run Challenge

BB8 5k Certificate

I signed up for my first Virtual Run last week, a 5km run with racethedistance.com. It was fun and pretty straight forward!

The back story (or run objective) for this medal was short and sweet, run the 5km before the First Order catch you and get their hands on the map to Luke Skywalker’s whereabouts.

BB8 5k Route

The Route

I took it at a very steady pace and chose to jog my 5km through Heaton Park and Jesmond Dene in Newcastle. The route followed the stream and took in the Armstrong Bridge and some farm animals.

The Statistics

BB8 5k Virtual Run
Organiser Race the Distance
Price £12.99
Distance 5.03km
Time Taken 00:36:03
Charity Scope
Donation £5.00

The Medal

For completing this race, I got a large and colourful BB8 medal, as well as a certificate! I also got the warm glow of satisfaction that comes with every medal. They even gave me a discount code for my next purchase with them so I might head on over tonight and sign up for their other Star Wars themed runs.

Fancy running this one? Then click here to head on over to ‘race the distance’ and check out the details.

What is a Virtual Race?

What is a virtual race? This was something I found myself asking a few weeks ago after a ‘suggested post’ popped up on my Facebook feed. I decided to investigate.

As it turns out, a virtual race isn’t something where you need the latest virtual reality gear to compete, rather than the ability to complete a certain race distance over an allotted amount of time and provide evidence that you did it.

After a bit more digging around, I found loads of websites offering ‘virtual races’ for me to enter. They all followed the same blueprint:

  1. Select a race distance; 5km, 10km, half marathon or full marathon (or 9+3/4 km for a Harry Potter medal – a nice touch);
  2. Choose your medal;
  3. Pay the entry fee;
  4. Run / jog / walk the distance over the allotted time;
  5. Submit your evidence (photos or screenshots of your running app);
  6. See where you rank on the leader-board while you wait for the postman to deliver your medal.

I drew up a list of pros and cons from the information I could find.

The Pros

  • A virtual race is cheaper than a traditional race. This is because a virtual race doesn’t need to pay for marshals, road closures and any other event administration. Prices typically range from £5 – £15;
  • Some of your entry fee is gifted to charity – this is a nice idea. Some races let you choose your charity whereas others will stipulate what charity will be benefiting from your donation. Most sites were donating between £2 – £5.
  • There is [normally] no set date for a virtual race. Most races had a timescale in which to complete the event, for example, the month of September. I liked this idea, as I have a busy timetable and am not always available to compete at a weekend event. It also means that if it is raining one day, I can hang around for a dry day to run the virtual race!
  • There is no route to follow. You can choose to run your race distance wherever you like and you don’t have to travel to wherever to compete.
  • You don’t have to run the race in one go. A lot of the sites allow you (depending on which race you choose) to break up the race distance into several chunks. So, if you can’t run 10km in one go, do 5km one day and the next 5km a few days after. So long as you complete the race distance in their time-frame, you are eligible for the medal.

The Cons

  • You would need some sort of activity tracker in order to prove you had completed the event and / or a good mobile data allowance;
  • You could cheat (but I suppose you would only be cheating yourself).

 

My Verdict

After weighing it all up, it seemed like a good idea to me. Competing in a virtual race would give me an incentive to go out for a run rather than the boring reason of doing it to keep fit. It would also mean that I wouldn’t have to wait ages for my next medal, I could sign up and do one now!

Although a part of me feels that it is a money grabbing exercise for [in some cases] low hanging fruit, I do like a good, shiny medal. How are virtual runs perceived in the world of hardcore runners? I don’t know, but I’d imagine in a similar way how the world of rock music perceives Nickelback. The way I see it; it’s getting me off the couch and keeping me fit, and that’s not a bad thing!

Below is a list of some of the UK based virtual race websites I have come across.

POW! Virtual Running

Race The Distance

The Virtual Runner

Medal Mad

Virtual Runner

Virtual Racing UK

My Race

What are your thoughts? Have you run any good virtual races recently? Is it something you’d like to try? Let me know in your comments, I’m keen to learn more about this virtual running world!