Virtual races are trending! With the rise of running apps like Strava and wearables like Fitbit, we see an increasing amount of event organizers offering virtual solutions to participants. This delights people that want to run races whenever they want and from wherever they are!
At atlasGO, we surf this beautiful wave and add an impact aspect to virtual races. In the last two years, we ran 70+ virtual challenges for charity on our app! Every virtual race in support of one of our non-profit partners. Our community has raised over one million dollars for non-profit organizations around the world! Every day, thousands of sweaty changemakers fight homelessness, clean the oceans, provide scholarships for students, and empower women– it’s a beautiful community of people who love to get fit and do good at the same time!
How virtual races work
The concept of a virtual race is quite similar to a classic road race. The only difference is that there is no physical event happening. You can run in your hometown, street, park, treadmill, alone, with friends, however, you want!
Similar to a classic race event, there are three steps to participate:
🎟 Register: Buy your (virtual) bib and invite your friends to join! Every bib supports a non-profit organization.
👟 Sweat: You are given a certain amount of time (days or weeks) to complete a set distance (5k, 10k, 42k,…). You can run on your favorite running app wherever you want and at the time that best suits you!
🎉 Celebrate: Once you achieved your goal you receive a medal, t-shirt or access to cool prizes from sponsors or event organizers. Et voila! Easy peasy lemon sweaty!
Benefits to participants
1. Wherever you want
You can run in your hometown, on the beach, on a treadmill, in the woods, or even at an actual race. Anything is possible and you are in charge of your own destination! This increases the accessibility to races to anyone with an internet connection.
2. Whenever you want
You can run at the time that best suits you! Hate waking up early for a run? Awesome, you can run in the afternoon. Sunday is your favorite day to go long? Perfect, you can get your Kms in whatever day you wish! You can even run spread your distance on multiple days!
3. Get a medal
Once you completed your distance (5k, 10k, half marathon,…) you will be mailed a one of a kind medal, t-shirt or unique swag from the virtual race.
4. Support a charity
Every virtual race we organize supports one of our charity partners. Make an impact today!
Benefits to event organizers
1. Limited operational costs
Organizing a physical event requires city permits, dozens of volunteers, and more! It’s a big organizational feat! Bringing your race to the virtual world makes many of your headaches disappear! Focus on marketing and creating an amazing experience for your participants rather than fighting with city officials and paying for permits for everything!
2. Reach an unlimited amount of people
The virtual world is not limited in space. You can reach thousands of people around the world. Create a “run around the world” race or “run for the planet” race to engage thousands of sweaty changemakers to engage around your mission!
Accessibility and flexibility
There is beauty in bringing people physically together. 45,000 people running a Marathon the same day in the same city is extraordinary. NYC, Brussels, Mumbai, Boston, London; these races create a sense of belonging and community that is difficult to replicate in the virtual world. The virtual component is not replacing physical races but is simply offering another option. Physical races are not accessible to everyone and don’t happen every day. Adding a virtual component to a race increases the accessibility and flexibility of the race. We also see dozens of groups forming physically to run the virtual race together.
Why sweat for a cause?
Sports bring people together. It’s a powerful way to bring people on the same level and start a conversation. I believe that running for charity makes everything better for four reasons:
1. Purpose: Running is great. Running with a purpose is better! It kicks that extra motivation in. It allows you to give a reason to the extra mile you put in.
2. Lack of competition: Running for a cause brings less pressure to the race. We are all in this together. Doing something that’s bigger than ourselves.
3. Running for a cause makes you think of the issue you are supporting. It sparks a conversation and brings awareness to issues we can sometimes put aside.
4. Communities are powerful. Marching or running together for a cause brings a new dimension to your race. You can be part of a movement. A movement of sweaty changemakers!
Read more stories from our ambassadors, our partners, and the causes they support!View all Posts