Virtual Running: Fad or Fun?

January 13, 2016 - By: Sarah Pease

 We are two weeks into 2016. How are those resolutions holding up? If running was on the list, here’s an idea to consider: virtual running. You heard us correctly. Virtual running.
Races for Awareness defines it simply as an online race
run on your own terms. On April 24,
British astronaut Tim Peake will participate in the
Digital Virgin Money London Marathon from the International Space Station at the same time the live race is being run on earth. Using the free treadmill
RunSocial app, he’ll be able to check out previous
London Marathon footage to get a feel for the course and crowds. Luckily, you don’t have to be a spaceman to try virtual running—the
Prague Marathon is another race offering the digital option. And Android users can also try this trend with the
Virtual Runner app from Outside Interactive. Interested? Check out our list of pros and cons to help you decide whether running a virtual race is right for you:

  • Preview: ‘Run’ the course before investing in fees and travel.
  • Registration: Participate even if the race is sold out.
  • Flexibility: Run a race in segments instead of all at once and still get credit for completing, which makes it a great option for beginning runners.


  • Isolation: No race day atmosphere, no competition to push yourself further, and no comradery once you cross the finish line.
  • Logistics: No volunteers to steer you along the way. You’re in charge of figuring out your route.
  • Spectators: No one cheering you on or holding up funny signs.

Something else to keep in mind is the perks of each virtual race (i.e., medals or swag) differs. And if there’s an entry fee, usually a portion of it goes to charity. So no more excuses about not being able to keep your resolutions. Time to
lace up and hit the treadmill. Tell in the comments if running a virtual race appeals to you. Photo via:
Runner's World