For the 6th time this year I’ve run a virtual race, and since I have run all of these in the same place, and there is only so many ways I can talk about running around similar routes in Alexandra Park, I’m taking a slightly different tack with this blog, by talking more about why I’ve found myself doing these, rather than focusing solely on the run itself.
In case you are unsure, a virtual run is where you sign up to run a certain distance, often with different conditions attached, but you do it in a place and at a time of your choosing, you then submit the evidence in the form of photographs and your route recorded on a GPS device. For your trouble you get sent a shiny new medal through the post, sometimes with additional goodies as well.
But is this all not just us rewarding ourselves for going for a normal run? Why bother? Do we deserve a shiny bit of new bling just for trotting around the park or wherever? Well I can’t talk for everyone but first and foremost for me is that the entry fee for these races, for the most part, includes a donation to charity and it seems like a good way to raise money for good causes. It also actually encourages me to go out and run a certain distance. I’m not always very good at motivating myself to get out and run, I go through phases where I run a lot, but often I’ll find any excuse not to go and unless I’m made to then I tend to take the lazy option and stay at home. They can also be made to be really good fun, especially if you can find a group of people to do them with, and if that wasn’t enough, finally the bling is usually pretty awesome too!
Now I’ve actually had this Jedi Challenge medal for quite some time, but a series of boring circumstances meant that it got put off, put off again and then pushed to one side, but I decided it was about time to go out and earn the medal that has been sat in a draw for months, so I decided to take myself for a 5km run around the park on the day the new Star Wars film hit the cinemas. I also stole one of my geeky husbands Star Wars themed T-shirts to try and make a bit more of an effort!
So I ran, getting myself out of the flat, off the sofa and getting some much needed exercise just before Christmas, as well as knowing that signing up to this run has helped to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (US based charity) and I can now finally display my medal on my overflowing medal holder. Seems like a good deal to me.