Kids of STEEL — What is a Virtual Race?

A virtual race is a race that you can run on your own at any time and at any location. You can run it in the morning or at night, on a trail or on a treadmill, with a few fans supporting you or by yourself. A virtual run can be a rewarding experience since it is capping off the training that you did. Here are some tips and ideas to help make this virtual race a fun and memorable experience!

Virtual Run Tips:

Map out your run: This is your chance for you to act as a race director. You can run in your neighborhood, a community park, on the treadmill, or on your favorite trail. You can design your course route however you would like so don’t be afraid to get creative. Before you run your virtual race, try to map out your course using a GPS function on an app on your phone, watch, or computer to make sure your course is the exact distance as the race.

Practice: Since this is YOUR race, you have access to the route and can practice it as much as you want. Get familiar with the toughest parts, learn the halfway point and other useful pieces of information so that when you run your official virtual race you will be prepared!

Pick the ideal time: You can run your race on any day and at any time. Pick a day and time of your choice in advance so that you have time to prepare for it. If that day comes and you are feeling hurt, ill, or if there is bad weather, you have the power to reschedule your virtual run to a different day to ensure the best conditions and circumstances.

Set a goal: Since you are familiar with the route and likely have practiced it before, you know what times you are capable of running. Set a goal for yourself. This is your chance to push yourself and showcase all the hard work that you put in. There won’t be other runners to compete against, but you can still compete against the clock and use this as an opportunity to set a new personal best time!

Fuel up: Bring along your favorite post-race healthy snack and drink. Along the course and at the finish line of official races, food and drinks are provided so don’t forget to bring your own on the day of your race.

Fun Ideas:

Gear Up: You want your virtual race day to feel different from all of the other runs that you do, so put on your favorite running attire for this special occasion. Look good, feel good, run good!

Decorate Your Race Bib: Visit for a race bib you can print and decorate, or personalize with your phone to share digitally!

Decorate Your Course: Before you run your race grab a bucket of chalk, some markers, and paper to try to create a real race-day atmosphere. Write some inspirational quotes on the road with chalk to help keep you motivated. Hang up some signs along the route to help keep yourself going when things get tough.

Make Crossing the Finish Line Special: Do something to add some flare or excitement to your race like decorate the ground where your race ends with chalk, play music on a speaker, or make signs where you will finish to celebrate accomplishing your goal. If your friend or parents are cheering you on during the race, have them hold a makeshift finish line ribbon to run through.

Complete Your Post-Race Recap! Take a moment to answer these questions to share your story and reflect on your accomplishment. Click here to get your Post-Race Recap!

Stay Safe!

The safety and health of our runners is always our top priority. It is important to take extra precautions to take care of yourself, as well as those around you, now more than ever. This Runner’s World Magazine article is a great resource to stay educated on some of the health and safety best practices while running.

  • Kids: do not run alone but maintain social distancing practices. Run with a grown-up from your household. Grown-ups: notify someone when you start your run and then when you are done. Let them know where you are running. Bring ID in case of an emergency.
  • If outdoors, be mindful of your surroundings: make sure music isn’t preventing you from hearing what’s going on and be aware of traffic and uneven surfaces. Please use crosswalks and when crossing roads and look both ways. Obey normal traffic laws.
  • Plan for your run. Water fountains or sources may not be available along your route so please come prepared. If you are planning to run the marathon, please bring your choice of salty snack.
  • Check the weather for the time you plan on running.
  • Wear bright or reflective clothing.
  • Call 911 with any emergency right away.
  • Listen to your body — don’t overdo it.
  • Maintain social distancing and wash your hands often and after outdoor activity.