What is a virtual 5k?

*Now You Can Have a Great Race Experience Without the Race Day Hassles*

Many people would like to participate in a race. But, they cannot due to a conflict of schedules or other reasons. Sometimes the schedule could be perfect but the weather might not. Or you could be under the weather and don’t get your best performance. For many people, race day hassles are a major turn off.

What is a virtual 5k?

If you’re nodding your head in agreement, then you’ve got to sign up for a virtual 5k. Read on and find out what is a virtual 5k, how it works and why it’s a hit for those wary of the race day hassles.

A virtual 5k, is a race that you get to participate at your own time, pace and space. That means there are no crowds, no worries about bad weather and, there are no race day hassles. It’s all on cyberspace.

Now, don’t get me wrong. You won’t be running alongside robots. You’ll be side by side with hundreds of real runners. Just not physically there.

Due to the flexibility and convenience, for both runners and organizers, virtual races have become more popular. Also, nearly all involve some sort of charity.

How does it work?

It could be that you know what is a virtual 5k, but you are not sure how it works. Most virtual races are run in the same way. Runners complete an online sign-up process, pay the fees and select a preferred distance.


Many organizers require participants to run at a specific time. However, there are several virtual races today that have flexi-time options. All you have to do is post your times using an app. It will provide proof that you’ve completed the race. Then the organizers will mail you a medal.

Virtual races are a great way to complement traditional races. You can join family and friends in a favorite hometown race even if you are out of town.

Race-day Hassles You Will Avoid

Many people want to find out what is a virtual 5k, and the races have become more popular because of the convenience they offer. In other words, runners love virtual races because they are a great way to experience the joys of racing without the many race-day hassles. Here’s a look at some of the hassles you’ll avoid.

No Pre-race day Hassles
Traditional races often include several pre-race day activities. You’ve got to pick up your packets, get to know the location (if it’s an area you are not already familiar with) and learn the course. But not so with a virtual 5k. You don’t need race day packets or bibs. There’s no physical crowd, so no need for pesky identification. Plus, you can choose your own location and course. You won’t be thinking about pre-race day hassles.

Benefits of virtual races

You’ll Run at Your Own Time
Running is supposed to be a stress reliever. However, traditional 5k races take place on a fixed date and often start early in the morning. Freeing up your schedule and getting up early on the race day morning can be quite a stressor. But a virtual 5k race helps you avoid all that.

Picture this, no straining to sort out your schedule and no waking up at dawn just to get to do what you love. You don’t have to worry about getting to the start line before the race official fires off.
Now that’s stress-free running.

Indoors or Outdoors: Its Your Choice
One of the best stress relievers about virtual 5ks is that you don’t need to travel to a particular location to participate in the race. All you need to do is select a distance and run it.

Personally, I love the outdoors and wouldn’t trade it for anything. But there are days when it is not practical to get a piece of nature’s best. That’s when the treadmill comes in handy. Whether you love being in the outdoors or prefer working out on a treadmill in a climate-controlled gym, virtual 5ks will give you the opportunity to choose your preferred space.

Choose Your Company or Competition
Would you like to race among peers? Virtual 5ks allow you to do just that. If there’s a runner who impresses you but is halfway across the world, you can invite them to participate in a virtual 5k.

You can do the same even if you are not a serious runner. Simply ask friends and family to join you in the run and have fun about it. You won’t have to contend with large crowds and unwelcome company.

Avoid the Long Porta-Potty Queues
Apart from contending with an unwelcome company, you’ll also have to queue up for long and share porta-potties. Now, you may think that I’m creating a big fuss over something small. But, it adds on to the stress and takes away the joys of running.

No Zig-Zagging through Slower Runners Strollers and Walkers
Traditionally, 5k races are family fun events. That means the course is full of a variety of people. There are old folks, kids, couples, recent mothers with strollers and many more. It’s actually fun to have it this way and it’s an exciting experience for everyone. However, as you run the course, you will bump into or need to go around a slower runner, a parent with a stroller or a walker.
Not everyone will finish last, right?

On the other hand, a virtual 5k gives you the benefit of being with family and friends on the race day, without bumping into, or having to zigzag your way through slower runners.

run free with virtual races

Lastly, You’ll Get to Give It Your Best Shot
One of the biggest advantages of virtual races is that you can choose to run when your body is best tuned to the challenge.
You can wait until a nagging injury heals completely, go out when the weather is perfect, or choose a perfect location and course. No one dictates when to run.

This means that you can give the race your best shot and get the best results ever!

So there you have it! If anyone asks “what is a virtual 5k?” Let them know it’s an excellent way to have a great running experience without the hassles of traditional race days.