Life

7 Virtual Runs You Can Do To Celebrate Global Running Day

DjelicS/E+/Getty Images

Yesterday, it was March, and in a few days, it will be June. Time may not exist properly during quarantine, but running events are still jogging on. On June 3, runners around the world will be lacing up their sneakers to celebrate Global Running Day with virtual events.

While in-person races just aren't on the table this year, avid runners and once-a-year speed walkers can all jog to the beat of their own playlists in physically distant locations. You might not be able to share a post-10K beer with your Sunday morning group right now, but there are still silver linings to online runs that you complete on your own.

"Global Running Day should be a celebration of all the run has to offer for anyone willing to put one foot in front of the other," says Matt Weiss, the director of runner engagement at Brooks Running. "Pace and distance shouldn’t be a 'barrier' when it comes to deciding whether or not you’re lacing up."

Virtual events may well make Global Running Day more accessible to people with varying levels of experience and physical abilities. While you technically can walk at many local 5ks, it's easy to feel like you're just not going fast enough. With virtual running events, you don't have to travel anywhere special, or worry about the sheer volume of people around you. You'll be able to take all the breaks you want without feeling like everyone else is better at this.

Events that can now be joined no matter where you live allows for an increase in community-formation, too. "Living with Bipolar II Disorder during these times of physical distancing carries its challenges," says Christopher Malenab, a Brooks Running Run Happy team member. "With virtual events on Global Running Day, I am reminded that running isn’t about races all the time. [These events] allow me to celebrate the friendships I have made, relationships I continue to make, and communities I am part of through an activity that I enjoy so much."

Most virtual Global Running Day events are also free, which means that finances won't be a barrier to participation, either. Sign up for one or more of these seven online Global Running Day events and create your running community — and your race pace — on your own terms.

01
Find Some Run Happy Virtual 5k

Brooks Running is "hosting" a free online 5k — that's a dash over three miles. You can participate in their Find Some Run Happy Virtual 5k any time between June 3 and June 7 (another advantage to going virtual). If you want to honor the fact that Global Running Day falls during Pride Month, Brooks has teamed up with the LGBTQ running and walking club Front Runners to release their Run Proud collection so you can rock your pride and run at the same time.

02
lululemon 5k with Strava

If you've been flirting with learning to run during quarantine, you might have come across the running and biking app Strava. The community-based cardio app has joined forces with athletic apparel company lululemon run club to host a Global Running Day 5k. You can download the Strava app to participate in the 5k run or wheelchair activity with the Strava community on June 3.

03
New York Road Runners 1-Mile

If a 5k is a few kilometers too far for your liking, the New York Road Runners (NYRR) might have a Global Running Day event that's more your speed (and distance). Any time you want to run a mile between May 28 and June 7, you can register your run with NYRR. If you register by May 31, you'll be entered to win a virtual coaching session on Global Running Day itself, as well as a free year-long subscription to Strava. If you're in the mood to challenge your friends, tag them on social media with #Run1Tag1 to encourage them to complete their mile, too.

04
Track Shack Free Event

Track Shack, a running store in Orlando, is going virtual for Global Running Day. You can participate by logging any distance and time that feels good to you by June 13, all for free. If you want to run in style, proceeds from buying their event shirts will benefit the Track Shack Youth Foundation, which supports young folks in athletic community groups.

05
Story Of A Runner (SOAR) Run Or Walk

Kansas-based running group SOAR (Story Of A Runner) lets you register for free and either walk or run through your participation. If you want to donate when you sign up, SOAR will store the funds to help fuel their future in-person races.

06
My Big Run by Fleet Feet

The idea behind running retailer Fleet Feet's My Big Run for Global Running Day is that your finish line is your own. You'll be able to opt into a mile, 5k, 10k, half marathon, or full marathon option, so you can pick your running poison. When you sign up to do any of these distances for $10, you'll get a $15 Fleet Feet voucher (yes, you can spend it online) and a supportive community ready to cheer you on from distant roads and bleachers.

07
Create Your Own Team

If a pre-existing event just isn't your speed, you can make your own with your friends, no matter where you all live. If you want to flex your Field Day muscles, you can pick a team name, team color, and make your own (optional) mileage goals and mission statement when you create your own virtual Global Running Day team. Because really, you don't need to live near your friends to go on a run together.

Experts:

Matt Weiss, director of runner engagement at Brooks Running

Christopher Malenab, Brooks Running Run Happy team member