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Virtual races gain popularity during stay-at-home order

Many people are finding safe ways around the stay-at-home order to race by running in virtual races. Find virtual races near you and tips for safe training:

COLUMBUS - Because of guidelines set during this COVID-19 pandemic, group running is no longer an option.

So many spring races were postponed or canceled.

But some are finding safe ways to abide by the orders by running in virtual races.

Virtual races allow runners to take part in the event, on their own time within the set dates and in their own space.

Matt Sexton, with Endo Monkey Racing, says organizations can also benefit from using virtual races.

“I think it's a great way for local organizations to reach beyond their bubble because it's a global scale. So if it's a school and they have alumni they want to get involved, well those alumni usually probably can't come in on a Sunday morning to take part but they can do it in their backyard,” he said. “Organizations that have followers and friends and supporters can do this anywhere, even if they've relocated away from the organization that they became friendly with.”

Columbus Health Commissioner, Dr. Mysheika Roberts tells 10TV these virtual races can be valuable for runners.

“We as humans, most of us, really strive with some type of schedule and order to our day and goals that we want to attain. So I think it's important to people to still keep to their running plan, their running goals, their milestones and to be able to achieve something at the end of it, like a medal through a virtual run,” she said.

Dr. Roberts, an avid runner herself, explains there are ways to train for virtual races while staying safe.

“The recommendation is that you stay at home and you limit your contact to your household members and so if you’re in a running group, whether it’s your neighbors, your friends across town or what have you, chances are they’re not your household contacts so I would really discourage that type of activity and just run with your household unit,” she said.

Some tips for social distancing running include:

  • Always maintain that 6-foot distance
  • Run during off-hours
  • Change the running route to avoid being in close contact with others
  • Wash hands upon returning from the run
  • Wear a mask if it’s comfortable

Interested in trying a virtual race? Check these out:

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