Disclaimer: I received entry in the Christmas Story Virtual Run to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
It’s that time of the year again! Last year I missed out on the opportunity to participate in the Christmas Story Run in real life, so when I saw the event went virtual I jumped on the chance!
This Christmas classic is a MUST in our house, and there isn’t a year that goes by where we don’t watch it at least 5 or 6 times!
Join me and the BibRave team as we tackle the optional 5K or 10K distance (you’re preference at checkout)!
Disclaimer: I received free entry into the Race to Wrigley 5K to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
Funny story, I’m a huge National Lampoon movie fan, mostly Summer Vacation, European Vacation, as well as the crown jewel Christmas Vacation. I’m such a fan of those movies in general that since I was young I have had an affinity to Chicago sports teams. I should preface this also by saying I’m a horrible sports fan. I couldn’t tell how well (or bad) the teams are doing, I just like them due to their connection to my favorite childhood movies.
Every year for Christmas I don my vintage Chicago Bears hat (to match Chevy Chase’s from Christmas Vacation) along with my custom “Griswold” Blackhawks Jersey. I wear the Clark Griswold uniform with honor.
However, I often forget people don’t make the same connection. Over the years when I’m out in public rocking my Chicago Bears hat, I’ll have actual fans of the team give me a thumbs up, or make some comment about the team. To which I nod and agree with what their saying, haven’t having the slightest clue what their talking about.
But. I do love baseball, and every baseball fan knows Wrigley. So how awesome was it for me to find out about the Race to Wrigley 5K? Not only are we talking about the iconic Wrigley Field, but also my connection to my favorite movies based around the misadventures of Clark W. Griswold Jr.!
Sorry to interrupt the story, but did you know that your race registration helps benefit Cubs Charities, which aims to provide health, fitness, and education to those at risk! Make your donations HERE!
What was I saying? Oh yeah! Ever since I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to drive across the country with my parents on a wild adventure to an animal themed theme park. I was especially looking forward to Dad ramping the car off an incomplete exit ramp, crashing our station wagon, and then sharing a beer in my quest to manhood all while wearing a Cubs t-shirt.
I mean c’mon, it’s every boys dream.
Okay, so maybe it’s not the same, and maybe it’s really hard for me to put to words why I like Chicago’s sports teams, but the bottom line is that if you’re a Chicago Sports fan, what’s not to love about the Race to Wrigley?
Disclaimer: I received entry into the Cinco de Miler Virtual race to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
Do you have a favorite race that you “have” to run every year? What is it about the race that draws you in year after year? Drop it in the comments below!
Is Virtual the New Normal?
Since the pandemic all races (in person) have been cancelled, leaving many race organizations scrambling to stay ahead of the game. After all, whether we realize it or not, the race industry is, in fact, a business. So it goes without saying that without customers, race “companies” won’t be able to maintain operations.
Many of the big players in the race industry are taking notes and responding to the pandemic accordingly. One way to stay ahead of the “stay at home orders” is offering a virtual option for participants to still manage to run their favorite race.
Question: does virtual racing appeal to you? would you still run your favorite race even if it moved to a strictly virtual platform?
Enter: Cinco De Miler
RAM Racing has done a great job of shifting nearly all of their signature races to the virtual platform, making it possible for anyone to run a variety of location-specific races anywhere they want!
For me the Cinco De Miler has always been on my list of races to run. Typically held in Illinois, the race moved virtual opening up the chance for me to participate here in Pennsylvania!
While it’s not the same as running in Chicago, I was still able to treat this as a regular race. With a defined date and distance on the calendar, I was running the Cinco de Miler on May 2nd along with all my BibRave Pros (virtually)!
The morning of the 2nd I woke up with a little pep in my step, after all, it was race day!
After getting dress I check in on my social media feeds to see when my friends had planned on running the race. I adjusted my schedule so that I could share my results around the same time, making it feel like I ran with friends in real life.
I opted to run the 5 miles near my hometown, passing by a man made waterfall at a local fishing spot. Needless to say, I forgot to pause my Garmin while taking in the scenery and posing for a quick selfies near the falls.
While not the fastest 5 miles on record, it was still nice to get out and enjoy nature and still feel connected to the running community by participating in a virtual race event!
Of course it wouldn’t be a race without awesome swag! RAM racing put together an awesome virtual swag bag including a signature tech shirt, medal, race bib, and lots of goodies!
P.S. If you ran this race did you try the mango lollipop?!
By the way, my first name is Lawrence- I’ve been meaning to update my RAM racing profile for the past few years. It still makes me chuckle when I see my bib with “Lawrence” on it. Haha.
With all of our favorite races being cancelled, deferred, postponed, and moved around it’s no surprise that we’re going to see a surge of virtual race options.
After the stay at home orders are lifted how soon will you feel comfortable engaging in: A run with a close friend? What about your willingness to participate in group runs with your local running club or group of friends? Finally how about retuning to races after the stay at home orders are lifted, with the large mass of crowds they draw, will you be comfortable?
Virtual race options provide an opportunity for us to run our favorite race in the comfort of our own environment. Most virtual runs are DIY from the day, time, and setting. This DIY approach provides you with the ability to pick what day you want to run, what time suits you best, and where you are going to run that’s more convenient for you.
But don’t just take my word for it.
What are the BibRave Pros saying?
Fellow BibRave Pro, Run Eat Ralph, shares his insight on how he’s grown to like virtual races, read more on his blog for inspiration on how you might enjoy them too!
Virtual options starting popping up and at first I wasn’t all that excited about the thought. Running a run on my regular routes and calling it a race seems funny to me. There are plenty of good reasons though…
Most races have gone virtual this year, in light of the pandemic, which has opened the doors for those of us that live out of the area to participate without the added costs of travel. This virtual race option is also beneficial to races, allowing them to expand their reach in the market.
Take the “Run for the Zoo” in Lincoln Park (Chicago, IL) for example, this race is 11 hours from my home and completely out of my radar. In fact, prior to the race going virtual, I wasn’t even aware of its existence. Now with the registrations going virtual and allowing runs from all over to participate, they’ve increased their races awareness (and ultimately their cause: to help raise money for the animals).
I’m pretty excited to continue to race this year and building my calendar full of partnered virtual races in conjunction with BibRave. I’m even more excited to run this race June 7, 2020 virtually with the rest of the BibRave Pros! I guess you could say that the silver lining to the pandemic is that local races can expand their awareness and clientele to a broader audience by offering virtual races.
BibRave fans, use discount code BIBRAVE10 to save 10% off your race registration!
My family and I love to travel every summer, and once the pandemic has passed and travel is again promoted, the Lincoln Park Zoo has been added to our families destination vacation spots!
Disclaimer: I received free entry to the 465 Challenge race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!
The 465 Challenge is a 53 mile virtual race that runs from January 1 to February 29 (2020). Participants have from the beginning of January to the end of February to complete 53 miles either walking, running, jogging, swimming, or biking. This challenge is a great way to make that New Year resolution stick!
Another bonus is that any participant that completes multiple intervals of 53 miles are considered “loopers” and join the Looper Club. And, if you complete the 53 miles within 24 hours, you join the 24 hr Club!
From the beginning, my goal was to compete at least 3 loops over the course of the challenge, through running only. 156 miles over the course of the challenge seemed pretty obtainable as long as the weather held out.
I’ll admit, Jan – Feb in Pennsylvania can be a bit of a gamble, especially since those are typically my lowest monthly totals when it comes to running. Throw in the added bonus of our local YMCA shutting down, and I knew this was going to be a challenge that was going to force me to get creative if the weather went foul.
And getting creative I did! I was determined to only track running miles only. I incorporated my long runs and even a half marathon into my schedule to make sure I hit my goal! The 465 Challenge was the perfect way to plan out my otherwise boring start to the year.
Mild Winter = Better Mileage
As luck would have it, January through February was actually quiet mild for our region. Instead of snow and ice, the Northeast saw a lot of rain! I felt like the entire last two months have been nothing but a wet soupy mess.
Despite the rain, I managed to complete my 3 loop goal over the course of the 465 Challenge. It helped that I had a handful of long runs on nice clear Sundays and not to mention the Squirrely Tail Half Marathon to boot.
This challenge couldn’t have gone off any better, and it was so rewarding to be able to maintain my fitness levels over the dark winter months. I’m glad I signed up for the challenge and I’m even happier I met my goal!
The 465 Challenge was a great way to stay focused on training through the darkest winter months. The online community and encouragement from other participants really helped me stay focused and kept my on-track on days I was lacking motivation. This challenge was a great way to start 2020 and to really hammer out those early New Years resolutions.
The swag was pretty cool as well! Participants received a pretty unique medal, and if you added it to your registration a nice quality shirt!
Did you miss out?! That’s okay, make sure you track down the 465 Challenge and check out all the upcoming races they are offering and be sure to sign up for next year!
Disclaimer: I received free entry to World Refugee Day 5k race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
The American Refugee Committee (ARC) is an international humanitarian organization that works to create conditions for refugees and displaced people to build full, and meaningful lives. ARC works in more than a dozen countries, striving to provide health care and other things we may take for granted [clean water, shelter].
The World Refugee Day 5K gathers over 1,000 runners in Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Uganda to race for hope, for fun, and a way to unite the refugee people. This year the race has gone virtual and we need you to join and help the cause!
Join in on the Virtual Run: Virtual 5k Run/Walk to celebrate World Refugee Day When: May 20th – June 20th What you get: Exclusive World Refugee Day 5k Hat [Boco Gear] and Commemorative Race Bib
BibRave Fans! Sign-up now, using code “BR5” to save $5 off your race registration!