In 2020 most races were cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic (boo) so I was looking forward to in person races for 2021. However, 2021 was more of the same so as the country slowly and carefully reopens. I was stoked to sign up for the Virtual Minneapolis Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K and while I would have loved to run in an in-person race, this virtual race was such a great experience.
Here are the tips I have found to get the most out of a virtual race.
- Map out a course. Your regular running routes are good but add a little flair for your self and your race! Map My Run is a good way to get input from other runners who have done similar distances. I have a wonderful run group and they created a route that allowed me to run with them for most of the route and then finish with my run buddy, @madaboutfashion.
- Get you some run buddies. Part of the draw of an in person race are the cheers and excitement from the crowd. Having a group to run with you allows for cheering and motivation and (if you’re like moi!) you want to keep up with the group so that you aren’t getting lost in the middle of the park.
- Your race, your pace. A virtual race is the best time to get familiar with your run style. All of the pressure of an in person race to perform for the crowd is off. You’re not worrying about being swept up with the truck at the end (been there) and you don’t have to worry that the race course will be shut down. You’re free to run at a pace and level that is comfortable for you.
- Pick your tunes. Or not. I’m a fan of quiet early in the run and then some tunes to get me over the hump. I have been catching up on podcasts and books and these long runs have helped me clear my backlog of podcasts (my favorites are the Bibrave podcast and Side Hustle Pro) l or I like to listen to a book from my To Be Read pile. Be safe and make sure you pay attention to your surrounding while wearing your headphones!
- Get a cute running outfit. You are going to celebrate the end of the race…look good while doing it!
Now. For the race itself, the Alstate Hot Chocolate Team were lovely and professional! I had an issue with my jacket and they quickly resolved my jacket without the logo. Also, there is chocolate at the end of the race! I would have loved the whole theater of an in person race but also enjoyed the celebration with my running friends and a cuppa while doing some foam rolling.
It’s easy to think of a virtual race as just another run but since The Allstate Hot Chocolate race raises funds for St. Jude’s for Children, it makes for a run with a cause. I enjoyed the challenge of a longer run and look forward to the next run.
Tell me…what are you r tips for running a virtual race?
Have you ever done the Allstate Hot Chocolate and if so, what did you think?
See you on the trail!