I’ll run any distance, any place, and at any time for a shiny race medal. Even virtual races! I’ve been adding Virtual Strides medals to my collection for a couple years now, and usually participate whenever they have a pretty medal that I want, or when they’re funding a charity that I want to support.
If you’re unfamiliar with virtual races, it is customary to complete the race distance on your own time by the end of a specified time period, and you must submit your time to the host company. Could you just buy a medal and not run it? Sure. But any runner worth their salt will earn it by actually running the distance on a treadmill or outside with a GPS watch or app. I earn medals, there is no other way.
This month (August 2017) is Quest for the Lost Scroll benefiting Ocean Conservatory and is a kickback to their Quest for the Golden Pearl race that I participated in two summers ago. The Quest races are also a sweepstakes for free future race entries if a special message is found inside the medal. I may not gamble, but I don’t mind a sweepstakes once in a while! And let’s be honest, I’m going to run anyway, so why not enjoy the added incentive?
Since Houston is now in the dead heat of unbearable summer, I hit the indoor track for this 5k armed with with my virtual bib and running watch. I ran 90s:60s intervals around the track until I hit the 3.1 mile mark, entered my time in Virtual Strides, and called it a day.
Surprisingly, the medal came in the mail two days later (so fast!). While I’m used to the instant gratification of a medal around my neck as soon as I cross the finish line, and treating myself to a burger and a glass of bubbly after organized races, I still celebrated my way and kicked up my feet after work when the medal arrived. And what a gorgeous medal it is!
So did I win the Quest? Sadly, no. The scroll contained a pirate’s poem and “better luck next time”…so I threw it in my glass like the pirate I am. Still damn happy to earn this beautiful medal and add it to my growing collection. This virtual race, as always, was a fun and rewarding experience. I love the bling!
Coming soon… How I display my race medals, including expansion racks for virtual races.
Read about my other adventures in running and gear reviews here. Happy running!