Run a race – virtually!

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Did you know you can run a virtual race in the Greenville area? If you’re feeling a little cooped up or have some energy to burn, consider doing a virtual race! Whether you run, walk, or stroll, it’s a good way for you or your kids to try something new, move your body, and, in some cases, support a good cause!

If you’re wondering about non-virtual races in the Upstate that are good for families, most have been cancelled or postponed. But, you can check out our recommendations for family-friendly races in the Greenville area and plan for next year!

To kick off Spring Break, I was going to run and/or amble through a 10K race out of town with my husband. The coronavirus pandemic had other plans for us. Races all over the world were canceled or rescheduled as the pandemic crept across the globe. However, race organizers have adapted by offering up virtual races. A virtual race involves running the set race distance (usually 5K, 10K, 13.1 miles, or 26.2 miles) and tracking your results with a fitness tracking app or device (i.e. a GPS watch). You can run the race at any location you choose–outdoors or indoors, including on a treadmill. The “race” usually occurs during a set window of dates (i.e., April 24 through May 10). After the race, you (or your child) hop online and enter your time on a web form.

Many of the races even suggest possible routes for race participants. Races often provide a bib you can download, print, and pin to your shirt to help add to your race-day magic! While runners can’t high five one another or exchange witty banter along the course, social media gives people an opportunity to share their personal finish line selfies. Many virtual races offer Facebook pages or hashtags with which runners can share resources or finish line photos. Aiming for gold? Many of these races are awarding prizes (or at least bragging rights) for winners in different age divisions.

Virtual races serve multiple purposes. They address the problem of physical distancing while also giving runners the sense of accomplishment that only comes from running a race. For those who are new to running, a virtual race can also be a less intimidating option than the nervous energy of a crowded starting line. And if you’re not a runner? Just walk! It also gives runners a lot of flexibility in that they choose when and where to run their race. (And, hey, push a stroller if you need to!) In addition, many races are fundraisers for local charities and these virtual races provide these charities with an opportunity to raise funds for their cause.

Virtual Races This Spring in Greenville

Ready to give it a shot? There are several upcoming virtual races organized locally that you, your friends, and/or family may be interested in.

Have a Heart for JVC Virtual Run

April 21st – May 1st, 2020
Distances: 1 mile, 5K, 10K
Entry Fee: $5

Entry fees go to the Julie Valentine Center, which is a non-profit that provides support to sexual abuse and child abuse surivors and their families. The 1-mile fun run is a great option for your family to do together!

Run Free Greenville

April 24th – May 10th, 2020
Distances: 100 meters, 400 meters, 1 mile, 5K
Entry Fee: FREE!

This is a KIDS-ONLY event, for children up to 14 years of age!

Run the Rabbit Virtual Run

May 1st – May 15th, 2020
Distances: 5K, 10K, Half-marathon
Entry fee: $5 per race

This race is a fundraiser for Prisma Children’s Hospital, with funds going toward: 1) a COVID-19 Response Fund, 2) a Health CARE Fund for those at Prisma who have been financially impacted by COVID-19, and 3) an iVisit Fund helps with the the purchase of iPads so patients can video chat with family and friends while in the hospital’s care. Entry includes a medal and t-shirt for race finishers!

No COVID-19 Virtual Run/Walk Challenge

Now through May 25th, 2020
Distances: 5K, 10K. Half-marathon, Marathon
Entry fee: $10

Hosted by the City of Greenville Parks & Recreation, participants earn a medal and a t-shirt.

Which virtual race will your family take on?

About the Author
India Menon is a native New Orleanian married to a South Indian immigrant. They have lived in Greenville since 2011. A former educational researcher, she is now a stay-at-home parent to two children and helps organize a local Meetup group for stay-at-home moms. Fueled by coffee and good humor, she enjoys playing outdoors, cooking, eating, reading, and plenty of Pinterest fails.

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