Maybe this isn’t crazy by some standards but it was to me. I have heard about ‘virtual runs’ in the past year but hadn’t actually participated in one until December 15th, which was also National Cupcake Day in the United States. Virtual runs are when you register for a particular event but you don’t have to travel – everyone who registers does it a home and then posts their results online. Beat the Blerch had a virtual option for people who couldn’t travel to one of the races and the Hogwarts Running Club, an online virtual running club, hosts a number of Harry Potter themed virtual runs through the year. The first one of 2016 is the Molly Weasley Ugly Jumper Run on February 6th, which is Arthur Weasley’s birthday.
Each time I wanted to do a virtual run this year it either sold out, I was low on funds, or I couldn’t make the timing work. You still have to finish the run within a certain date range so it’s not like you can just do it whenever. The cool thing is you still get awesome medals (it’s all about the bling!) that they mail to you and you still have a sense of participating with a group. The thing is, however, you really need to do something to make the run special. When you run in a big event you have the crowd, fellow runners, the starting and finish lines, on route entertainment, and a racing element that even inspires turtles such as me to experience a boost of adrenaline. With a virtual run you either create that for yourself, or it could be a bit boring.
When we were at the Rock n’ Roll 10K Krista, Monica, Trisha, Jody and I were playing with the idea of doing one and the Cupcake Day 5K was an early contender. The medal was awesome (we’d seen it online). The charity was great – Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Plus, the race organizers wanted you to do it on or as close to December 15 as you could. December 15 is National Cupcake Day and if possible celebrate with cupcakes – how can you go wrong with cupcakes?
We decided to do it as a group and Tracy joined us as well. Trisha couldn’t do it on actual National Cupcake Day with us so she did it on another day. We planned our 5K so our starting and finishing line was at Sweet Spot Cupcakes in Aberdeen. I think the owner, Natalie, thought we were nuts but funny at the same time.
So December 15th came and because I’m just that kind of person I cross country skied 12 hard km of hills in the morning and then ran on icy and snowy streets that night. My legs were dead at the end. But we ran, slipped a lot, one of us fell on ice (oddly enough it wasn’t me!), and looked at Christmas lights while we made our way along our 5ish Km route. We got to the end and according to Run Keeper, the app we use to track our activities, we weren’t quite at 5K yet so we did laps around the Canadian Tire parking lot to make up the distance. After that it was all sugar… I had a candy cane cupcake and it was awesome!
Why was this crazy?
We had to make it crazy, and fun, and different, and way out of the ordinary. We all run all the time and 5K isn’t really that big of a deal, but we made it an event and celebrated the journey. And we all have the medal to prove it. The thing is, why don’t we make every day special and celebrate more? It’s not really that hard.
Would I do it again?
Of course! I’m already looking for more virtual runs. They’re fun and easy on the travel budget as well. Plus, I have the best running buddies in the world and we can make anything fun!