Time for another virtual medal review. Seems like virtual runs are a topic of conversations with people for and against them. Like anything it’s how you use them and if you can find a benefit. My personal view point is they have merits. Regular readers will know that at the moment I’m not racing for a number of reasons. At the moment I’m at the stage where I would like to race but I can’t enter races in advance as my daughter’s on going battle with her heart can turn at any minute and I don’t want to waste money entering races I can’t do. This is where I’ve been using virtual run companies to keep me on my toes. I pick one a month then do a hard run as my “virtual race” and then get a bit of bling as a keepsake.
This month I went back to Race the Distance as our family are huge Disney fans so with the medal being themed on Beauty and the Beast and it being Valentines Day in Feb I felt it was the perfect one to go for. Here is a look at the medal, entry/evidence method, my virtual race and then the medal.
BEAUTIFULLY BEASTLY 2019: Limited to 75 places
Choose Your Distance: When you submit a result, select the distance you did (1 Mile/5K/10K/ Half Marathon / Full Marathon). A virtual race is a race that can be run (or walked) from any location you choose. You can run, jog, or walk on the road, on the trail, on the treadmill, at the gym or on the track (or even at another race). You get to run your own race, at your own pace, and time it yourself. And your medal will be shipped directly to you. Complete a virtual 5K, 10K, half marathon and more!
You will be a virtual runner, competing with virtual runners all over the World, to be the fastest in each race and try to enter our all time Hall Of Fame. Of course, you can do it just for fun too.
You can run or walk the distance (done in one go) to win your medal and certificate.
Sign Up Process
When you visit the site, you click on Enter Races/Challenges on the main menu, then you select the medal you want on the selection screen. You then add the medal to your bag (aka shopping basket). You are then re-directed to your shopping basket and if you are only entering the one challenge, you press the checkout button. The site automatically calculates the shipping cost. Good news! if you live in the UK shipping is free. You then enter your shipping details, press continue. On the next screen you enter your email address and checkout using paypal (you don’t need to be a paypal member to use it.
Once you’ve paid you are done and you will receive a confirmation email. Next is the small matter of completing your challenge.
Completing the Challenge/submitting Evidence
The virtual run is £12.99 to enter and the site is built on shopify an eCommerce out the box web builder (think wordpress but for online selling). The sign up procedure is pretty straight forward. If you can use social media then it should not be a problem. Simply click “Add to Cart” , then follow the checkout procedure. Good thing is you have either google pay or paypal to checkout with. I use paypal and you don’t need to sign up to paypal to use their checkout facility. Once you’ve paid you receive your first email with something similar to this in the header “Order #33848 confirmed”
With Race the Distance you can opt to have your medal sent straight away or you can actually “earn” your medal and do the distance of your choice and submit your evidence. Now I like to know any medal I’ve got I’ve actually done something to earn it, so on my speed session I opted to do a 5k time trial. I went off hard, ramped it up in the middle and then hung on for dear life for the last mile but I came away with a time of 15:54 for 5k (never gone faster at 5k but not an official race, so I class this as an unofficial PB) After that I uploaded my data to Strava (click here) and then took a screenshot. For those wanting to know how to take a screenshot, its easy press the prt sc button on your keyboard, if doing it via an iphone, press and hold the power button on the right side and click the home button at the exact same time.
Then I headed over to Submit a Result page, selected my race and filled out the form. I then received an email confirmation and my medal followed two days later on the 8th Feb.
The medal much like the last one from this company (The armistice day one) is 10 cm in width and is on stamped metal, the design is sunk into the front with the main colour being white with the rose petals red and the actual design in polished metal. The colour and design really work well together and they use the Disney Font Waltograph to do the text (Same font I’ve used for my wife’s business logo).
One let down is the ribbon is bog standard and is exactly the same as the last one from this company. This is where it lets it down. Cost wise it’s understandable but in a saturated market it’s the little things that help you get ahead of your competition.
For once I felt like earning a PB is getting harder and harder to come by and chances of me doing that time in a race is slim as you need everything to go right come race day. The medal is very nice and a great design. However, I feel it’s let down by a standard ribbon. The company again is lacking on the social media side as mentioned before and despite running the fastest HM time in my last virtual race from them I find myself missing from the records and one of their selling points is top 3 finishers in all distances get a bonus finishers medal! I’ve chased that up which took a few days to get a response and keeping tabs if they actually correct the results. I will also be interested to see if they add my result from this race to their hall of fame records. I won’t hold my breath though!