Virtual Challenges – #teamrularuns

#Planb Act 3

I was contacted through Instagram by Find A Race asking if I wanted to put a team together to take part in their virtual challenge #Planb Act 3. They said that they would gift me my place and then give me a code to share for my followers to join my team.

I was just finishing up the Runr Miles For Mile challenge and was wondering what I was going to do to keep myself motivated throughout June. So I looked into Find A Race a bit more. I could choose from various distances and had 30 days for my ‘team’ to complete our selected distance.

The entry fee for Find A Race Virtual Run does donate money to Alzheimer’s but I was unsure which if my followers this would appeal too. I replied to the email saying I would love to take part and set the challenge distance to 100KM. I was pretty confident that I could achieve that solo.

So #teamrularuns was set up and I shared the code on my Instagram and Facebook Page. Suddenly I got an email saying I had a teammate. Then another email and another. It was SO exciting. I loved receiving that email. I then decided to make a team chat on Instagram and to my surprise #teamrularuns took off.

Ruth running

Each time we ran, we uploaded proof to the Find A Race website. Our challenge page had a leaderboard and a section to show us our progress. We were only 2 days in and we had to increase our challenge distance to 500KM.

Then more people joined, we were all super motivated and we rapidly approached the 500km target too. We spent an evening on the chat deciding whether we should go for the highest total of 2500KM in the 30 days. We had a large team, but my concern was that I didn’t want people to feel under pressure to run. It was a fun challenge after all. But the team decided to go for it. So the new distance was the target!

We were banking miles very quickly at the start of the challenge and then the progress bar didn’t seem to move. I started to feel a little apprehensive. Then we spotted that there was a glitch with the website and our totals were not adding to the overall progress. I was so relieved that it wasn’t that we had all just got lazy!

The company were excellent at trying to fix this issue and although it was frustrating and took a while to sort, it was nice when the bar finally shot up. With a week to go, I started to feel the pressure a little. I think we worked it out to be about 5k a day for everyone in the team. Although some loved this, I knew it wasn’t going to appeal to all.

FindaRace Leaderboard

Luckily I noticed that one of the team members hadn’t logged all of her miles (I knew she had been banking them as I saw her runs on Strava) Luckily, with her miles and then a late addition to the team we covered the 2500KM with a day to spare!

Having a challenging distance was great, but I actually think the Team element of it is what I enjoyed the most. Encouraging each other on and sharing our progress together was amazing.

Since taking part in this event, I have completed 2 other virtual challenges. The Virtual Race to the The Stones and Asics 10K. The Virtual Race to the Stones was brilliant, as it felt like most of the running community on Instagram (well the people I follow) took part. I only opted for the marathon distance in a week, but some people logged 100K in a week. WOW, just wow!

Virtual Race to the Stones

Kelly made a little VLOG about her week and I even feature at the end!

You could have paid an entry fee for this challenge and get a medal/t-shirt when completed. I am having to watch the pennies, so didn’t opt for this.

Virtual Asics 10K

I did, however, pay to enter the Virtual Asics 10K. I loved this race last year (read here) mainly due to loving running in London. Also, I knew a lot of people taking part. So why pay, when you couldn’t run in London? Well, at this year’s National Running Show, Sarah bought a lovely Notch Bracelet and showed it to me. Well, that was me sold. I love them, but yet again this stupid career change/break (whatever I am doing), means that I don’t have the spare cash to splash on the non-essentials so I didn’t get one.

When this race said that instead of a medal you get a Notch Bracelet, I was in. I think the entry price was half the price of buying a bracelet, so I couldn’t resist! Yes, I know it’s still not an essential, but I have to have a little treat now and again!

The 10K was geared more towards pushing for a fast time and featuring on the leaderboard. I didn’t really do that. My plan was to just cover the 10K and now waiting for the delivery of my Notch Bracelet!

Overall thoughts

When I shared my Medal Monday photo on Instagram, I asked people what there thoughts were on Virtual Events. Here are some of the responses I had.

I totally agree with the thoughts of same routes, still solo running etc, but I think making the chat group and being a team gave this challenge a whole different feel. Being part of a team really suits me (must be from my basketball days) so it motivated me as I didn’t want to let my team down. I think the Race to the Stones event, although solo felt better as it had a community feel with so many taking part. When it comes to Virtual RACES, I’m not sure I love that. I think I need people around me, spectators and the race atmosphere to push the pace!

Some of my teammates are keen to the Find A Race Challenge again, so keep your eyes peeled on my Social Media if you fancy joining in.

Have you taken part in a Virtual Race/Challenge? What are you thoughts on them? Leave a comment below to let me know.

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