Y’all. I miss races.
When I moved to California, I was so excited to travel the state (nay, the whole coast!) to toe up at start lines. I’d say I probably run at least five or six races between moving here last May and when the world went into lockdown in March.
Pre-covid, I just didn’t see the point of virtual races. They weren’t for me.
In this covid world? Well, I’m addicted to signing up for them as I was for IRL races.
My therapist suggested cutting back on shopping, BUT SHE NEVER SAID ANYTHING ABOUT VIRTUAL RACE REGISTRATIONS!— Theodora Blanchfield (@tblanchfield) August 10, 2020
A chance for camaraderie (albeit virtual), the excitement of a race, and a medal I don’t have room for and a shirt I will never wear? BRING. IT. ON.
Here’s the virtual races I’ve signed up for…so far. It’s a mix of local ones gone virtual and ones that are just virtual.
Still I Run World Mental Health Day Virtual Race
This is the one nearest and dearest to my heart. Obviously, I am a huge mental health advocate—and future mental health professional! I’m also an ambassador for Still I Run, a nonprofit whose mission is to beat the stigma of mental health through running. For the race, you need to run between October 9-11. (You can listen to my interview with the founder, Sasha Wolff, on my now-defunct podcast.) Use code THEODORA2020 to get $5 off at signup.
Manhattan Beach 10K
Of the smattering of races I’ve done since moving to LA, this one is by far my favorite. I’ve done it twice, and I love how it feels like a hometown race even though it’s actually several thousand runners. (I think after NYC and NYRR races, anything will feel like a little hometown race to me.) The IRL course runs along the Greenbelt in Manhattan Beach, ending on The Strand and at the pier. It’s virtual this year, of course. Registration opened a few days ago, and you can run it between October 1-10. I’m getting back my running fitness and a 10K feels like a challenge right now, but I’m working on it. After years of kicking and screaming internally that my running isn’t what it used to be, I finally decided to start using intervals to make it approachable and enjoyable for me. I’m currently doing three minutes running: one minute walking, and it feels good.
Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run
This was another IRL race I LOVED (hi, I love Christmas) that I’m signing up for the virtual one. You have all of December to complete a 5K or 10K. I know the holidays will likely be weird this year, and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to have my cookie swap, so I am going to run WITH BELLS ON. (Literally.)
Sloth Running Team Virtual 5K/10K
Does this one need further explanation?! Signing up because it looks hilarious, and my cousin and I are doing it “together” from 3,000 miles away from each other. You can run this one at any time.
I Run 2 Stay Classy Virtual Run
I haven’t hit register yet on this one but I’m pretty sure I have to. If you are a long-time reader, you know I am obsessssed with Will Ferrell and Anchorman. I definitely didn’t use it as a way to get guys back to my apartment in my early 20s. But I digress. This is absolutely a shirt I will actually wear. You can run this one at any time.
Oiselle Womxn Run the Vote
This one is super cool—it’s a virtual relay from Atlanta to D.C., raising money for Black Voters Matter, an organization dedicated to increasing power in marginalized, predominantly Black communities. Teams of 15-20 will cover a combined 680 miles—and there’s a gazillion activities that “count” towards the mileage.
What about you? Have you caught the virtual race bug?