Continuing my monthly medal review, I picked a medal that is close to my heart. I served in the armed forces and Armistice Day is something that no one should forget. It annoys me how many people no longer wear poppies, they forget they would not be here today if it wasn’t for those who gave their lives in the wars! Anyway the medal was from a company I’ve not used before but out of all the Armistice Day themed virtual medals, this was the best and at least £5 of the fee would go to the Royal British Legion. So far they’ve raised over £10,000 from this medal which is amazing.
However due to popular demand it only arrived today, which was a shame as wanted to wear it Sunday, my review will highlight the pros and cons from this Virtual Race company.
Armistice Day 2018: Limited to 200 places
Choose Your Distance: When you submit a result, select the distance you did (1 Mile/5K/10K/ Half Marathon / Full Marathon).
Having collectively raised over £5000 for the Royal British Legion during our 2017 campaign, we wanted to design a virtual race and medal even more stunning and special in a bid to commemorate 100 years since armistice day, when the ‘war to end all wars’ was finally over.
At least £5 from every entry will be donated to the Royal British Legion.
Please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery on this race, as due to demand we have had to reorder more.
Sign up process
The site used shopify, so just like buying an item of clothes you add the medal to your cart, then follow the checkout process. Shopify is like wordpress for people wanting to sell online and is simple to set up. It allows people purchasing a medal to use paypal and Google checkout.
As you go through checkout process you will need to fill in your customer information and then on next pay shipping details and then finally payment. Again I used paypal and that is simple and straight forward. Plus it means should anything under handed happen you as a buyer are protected and can get money back.
Once I had followed the checkout process, I received my confirmation email; “Thank you for entering one of our races!
Hi Richard, Thank you for entering one of our virtual races. We will shortly send out your medal, unless your purchase is a 500 mile or 1000 mile annual challenge (these are sent out once the miles have been completed and submitted). Run anytime with no deadlines or closing date. Once completed, please submit your run here if you wish to enter the Hall Of Fame or race Top 10. “
Completing the Challenge/submitting Evidence
So this is where Race the Distance differs slightly from other virtual companies, as with this “virtual race” you didn’t need to do anything. Ok so you paid £12.99 for a medal but I want to actually earn the medal and having to actually submit some sort of proof should be required.
They do however do a hall of fame. When a “race” sells out you can submit evidence for that race. You can opt to run 1 mile, 5k, 10k, half marathon or marathon. The top 3 in each race then get sent an additional bonus medal which I think is fantastic. I will be submitting my 15 miler from Sunday as my race. I’ve just not decided which distance to submit my evidence for.
So continuing what I said above, technically you don’t have to submit evidence but I fancy my chances of a bonus medal. So I opted to submit evidence to win a bonus medal. I decided to send in my 15 mile run I did on Remembrance Sunday as my evidence. I had run at marathon pace for 15 miles, meaning I covered 13.1 miles in 1:28:25.
I went to the site and on drop down menu selected the submit result option. You simply fill in your details, along with race distance you’ve run, time you’ve completed and then you have to attach proof, so I did a quick screenshot of my Strava activity. Very easy and straight forward. I just need to see if I finish in top 3 now!
I then received email confirmation, saying I had submitted my evidence.
The medal is what appealed to me. It is done on metal with a white background, with the design raised with the poppies in red and green leaves. I just love the design with the soldier silhouette in black really standing out. With the wording fitting for what the medal is for.
There is no design on the back but I don’t think this medal needs it as the front is so eye popping. For me it has to be up there as one of my all time fav medals. However nothing is perfect and I think the ribbon lets the medal down. It is red with white stripes with race the distance plastered all over it. I think it would have been better to keep the Armistice Day theme going on the ribbon. It for me took the gloss of the overall finish.
Another nice touch is that the medal came with a certificate, congratulating me and explaining how much had been raised and again it was themed with Poppies. It’s something I will keep.
It was my first time using Race the Distance and overall I am happy with what I got. The medal is ace and while it was £12.99 I like the fact it has raised so much for the Royal British Legion. I mentioned I think all virtual runs should be required to submit evidence before you receive a medal. However I do like the fact you can compete in a distance of your choice for the chance to win a bonus medal and a place in the hall of fame.
I entered on the 29th of October. But it wasn’t until I emailed them did I receive an update on 8th November, explaining it had been popular and was waiting for more medals to arrive. They then sent a general email to everyone later that day and also posted on Facebook. I do think there social media is something that needs to be improved upon. I’ve asked a few questions and not one has been answered. I could not find them on Twitter. In this day and age, especially for a virtual company you need to be on the ball with social media. Maybe getting someone to help run their social media in return for free medals might help take some of the pressure of them.
Other then that, their website is clean, well presented and very easy to use, be it entering a race or submitting evidence. The medal arrived in excellent condition and the certificate was a nice additional touch. I will be interested to see what future medals they do as I would happily use them in future.