If you’re short on time to take part in as many races as you’d like this year, aren’t a fan of mass-participated events or fancy going that extra mile for charity, a virtual race could be just the ticket.
For the science lovers and space enthusiasts out there, the Run the Solar System 10K is a must. Organised by the British Science Association, this virtual race falls part of its live, space-themed 10K race event, taking place 11 March, at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. Runners that can’t make the event simply download the free 10K app (available 10-19) at runthesolarsystem.com, which will feature narration from broadcaster Dallas Campbell and clips from the NASA archives, and you can take part wherever you are in the world. Participation is free, but £15 will bag you a medal pack and a year’s BSA membership.
A virtual spin-off of the popular Equinox24 – an epic 24-hour running event set in the grounds of Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire, this race involves running as many miles as you can between noon on 25 March and 12 noon on 26 March 2017. There are no minimum requirements on the distance but, if you fancy seeing how you perform over the marathon distance – or seeing if you’re up to next year’s live event, it’s a great opportunity to test your stamina. Online entry is £12 and a minimum of 20% of every donation will be given to not-for-profit spinal cord research foundation Wings for Life.
We couldn’t resist squeezing our own virtual race into the mix and that’s for very good reason. This will be the first-ever virtual run from Women’s Running, and will begin on International Women’s Day. Our event is about celebrating the achievements of women – on a global scale – and helping empower those women who are currently facing discrimination, poverty and violence. Runners are encouraged to donate to Womankind – an amazing woman’s rights organisation that works tirelessly to transform the lives of woman and girls facing adversity around the world. Runners can choose their own distance, pace and location on 8 March, but are asked to send in evidence of their runs. Sign up is £7.99, which will earn you a beautiful medal.
Founded in association with the brilliant Run Mummy Run – a social network of 40,000 like-minded mummy runners – the Bricktastic Virtual Challenge encourages families to get outdoors this summer and get active. Runners must complete a minimum of 5K across the month (but this doesn’t necessarily have to be completed in one go!), and cost of entry is £12, 20% of which will go to Cancer Research UK. All runners will receive a vibrant ‘bricktastic’ medal for their achievements. Submission of evidence is required and must be submitted by 12 noon on 3 July.
Inspired by one of the world’s most popular saints, this virtual race celebrates St Patrick’s Day – and raises money for a brilliant cause, too. Of each entry, £1 will be donated to mental health charity MIND – a charity that does amazing work providing advice and support to those experiencing mental health problems across the UK. And it’s not just a pint of Guinness you’ll earn for your run – all runners will receive a brilliantly blingy medal for their achievements. Participants of all ages are welcome and online sign up is £7.99. Evidence of your run must be submitted.
Harry Potter fans, rejoice! Here we present you a virtual race dedicated to the wizarding world and the beloved House Elves! Organised by the popular charitable programme Hogwarts Running Club, the race is inspired by the fictional Hermione, who was determined to make life better for the Hogwarts Castle House Elves. Proceeds from the race will go to the Harry Potter Alliance and its Granger Leadership Academy – a training academy for young leaders. Runners can expect plenty of house camaraderie on the HRC Facebook group and a magical medal, devoted to the people’s favourite House Elf, Dobby. Entry is $25 (around £20) and participation will help provide numerous scholarships for young leaders who otherwise couldn’t afford to attend to the academy.