Virtual Running? Virtual Races? For Real?

To be honest, until recently I had never heard of virtual running or virtual races. If it wasn’t for on an ad I came across, as I was scrolling down Facebook (mobile version), I probably still would be in the dark about these events.

Virtual races are just like traditional races with a shirt, medal, and bib except you can run, walk, hike or even run on a treadmill! You can run wherever or with whoever you want. Racers report their time and then a medal is mailed to them for completing the race.

I have been slowly training for the Honolulu Marathon but that race (in December) is over five months away. There aren’t a whole lot of races I’m interested in before the marathon. I do plan on joining some 5K and 10K virtual races to kind of reward myself during my training.

Below, I listed some of the more interesting running clubs or races that I have encountered on the web. I will also highlight if these events are connected to a charity or charities because it always feels good to run a race and know you’re also helping those in need.

Virtual Running Club
They are a small group of people dedicated to bringing you fun and uplifting virtual race events. Vacation Races owns and operates Virtual Running Club. They have been running virtual races for 4 years now.

They are a race company that believes that (just like traditional races) a medal should be earned by finishing the race. Each of their races has a designated charity partner. A portion of your registration fees (around 50% of proceeds) will be donated directly to the charity.

Disney Running Shorts

I’ve been looking a Disney marathon or half-marathon to run at either Disneyland or Disney World. I found out that these races sell out quickly, quick as in the same day registration opens. So, if you want to run in a Disney race, there is the the Virtual Running Shorts Series that happens during the Summer.

Pluto’s the honorary host this year and he’s inviting everyone to join in on a summer of magical runs on a course of your choosing. It’s your chance to experience all the excitement of a magical Disney run right in your own backyard!

Whether you want to run with your pet, go solo, or run with friends, the 2017 Virtual Running Shorts Series is a great way to celebrate a summer filled with great Disney runs and lots of fun!

Virtual Run Events

Virtual Run Events was created in April 2015. Why? Because they LOVE running! And even more, they LOVE connecting with runners.  Shortly after creating Moon Joggers, they realized that they could encourage people to get out and get moving, AND make a difference throughout the world.

How? By creating fun and unique events to raise money for various charities. For each event a unique medal is designed, people are invited to get out and run or walk their own race, at their own pace and choose a charity to donate a portion of the proceeds to.

They have already raised more than $300,000 for charities from running events on their website. They are making a difference one race at a time!

U.S. RoadRunning

Run/Walk at any location you want. You can use the treadmill, run outside, your own course, another race, or get your running group together. You can run the event any day, any time, or any place you want.

A Virtual Race is a federal trademark by US Road Running. It is a race that can be run/walked any time, any place or any location. Federal trademark sn 86511866. To view Virtual Races go to

Calorie Burning Chart – For Runners, Joggers & Walkers

Activity15 min30 min45 min1 hour
Walking 3 mph (20-min-mile)60180240300
Jogging in place119238357476
Running 5 mph (12-min-mile)119238357476
Running 5.5 mph (11-min-mile)128256384512
Running 6 mph (10-min-mile)153306459612
Running 6.7 mph (9-min-mile)170340510680
Running 7.5 mph (8-min-mile)213426639852
Running 8.6 mph (7-min-mile)221442663884
Running 10 mph (6-min-mile)2555107651020

Steve Scott – Miler

steve scottOne of my favorite middle distance runners, growing up, was Steve Scott. With the great UK runners Coe, Ovett and Cram, Steve Scott was my American hope.

He was a great competitor and I remember him in all those “Dream Mile” races, on television, but I do not recall him ever winning (won in ’82 & ’83). So let’s take a closer look at Steve Scott…the miler.

Scott was a baseball player, in high school, and joined the cross country team to avoid taking physical education during first period.

At the University of California-Irvine Scott broke the 4 minute mile barrier for the first time. From 1974 to 1977, he won the Division II title at 1500 meters.

In 1980, Scott finished first at the 1980 U.S. Olympic trials. Unfortunately, the U.S. boycotted the Olympics, because of host Russia’s invasion, of Afghanistan, in 1979. He finished 10th at the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles and 5th in 1988 (Seoul).

Scott won a silver medal at the inaugural IAAF World Championship in 1983 (gold – Steve Cram, bronze – Said Aouita).

While never setting a world record, Scott was considered one of the greatest milers in the world. His 136 times running under four minutes is unmatched.

Scott was a U.S. record holder in the outdoor mile in 3:47.69 in 1982 and has still-standing records (indoor mile in 3:51.8 in 1981 and indoor 2000 meters in 4:58.6 in 1981).

Scott has been Head track & field coach at California State University-San Marcos since 1999 and had two successful battles with cancer in 1994 and 2014.

The following is just a snippet of Scott’s training log for 1982. You can tell he is big believer in training twice a day:

steve scott

29 March, Monday: DNR Flying to NZ.

Tuesday: AM Checked into hotel, ran 40min. PM Ran
45min at Cornwall Park. 15mi

Wednesday: AM 30min w/ Ray, good pace. PM Hard
55min. Rain, Weights. 15mi

Thursday: AM 5mi easy around the park. PM Very
tough, hilly 10mi w/ Ray, John.

Friday: AM Easy 5mi. PM Easy 5mi with Ray +

Saturday: Auckland Mile. 1st in 3:31.2. Beat
Hillardt, Flynn, Walker.
+ 10mi after. 14mi

Sunday: AM 15mi with John + run home. 16mi.

Week: 85mi

Running partners that week:

Ray Flynn of Ireland
John Walker of New Zealand
Michael Hillardt of Australia

52 week mileage: 4016 miles (77.2mi/wk)
43 races

The Aukland Mile in 3:31.2 was not a typo. At the time, this was the fastest a mile had ever been run. Because the race was mostly downhill (200ft drop in elevation) the race was never officially recognized.

If you want to read Steve Scott’s entire 1981-1982 training log (it is entertaining for runners), click right here!

Running Shoe Lacing Techniques – Wide Forefoot

shoe lacesThese are how my New Balance 890 v5’s were originally laced when they arrived from Amazon. The problem was the shoes were too tight in the forefoot…I needed more space! So…I found a way to lace my shoes so there is more room in the forefoot and it really works! I also had some heel slippage but that is covered in another post.

shoe laces
Push the laces down through #1 holes, pull out and tighten evenly.
shoe laces
Push the laces up through #2 holes, pull out and tighten evenly.
shoe laces
Push the laces down through #3 holes (same side), pull out, tighten and crisscross.
shoe laces
Pull the laces up through #4 holes, pull out and tighten evenly.
shoe laces
Crisscross laces, pull up through #5 holes and tighten evenly.
shoe laces
Crisscross laces, pull up through #6 holes and tighten evenly.

Barefoot Running Study – The Good, the Bad…Mostly Good!

barefoot running

The Background

A recent study examined whether barefoot running increases or decreases injuries. Though there have been many technological advances, in running shoes, there hasn’t been a reduction in running related injuries.

This caused some runners to incorporate some kind of barefoot or minimalist running into their weekly mileage. There is some evidence that barefoot running lessens the force and torque on the lower legs.

The Survey

A survey of 10 questions was posted to running blogs and Facebook pages. There were 509 participants that responded. 93% of the respondents had included some kind of barefoot running into their training.

The Results

A large portion of runners tried barefoot running:

For the potential of improved efficiency – 60%
To work through injury – 53%
Because of the hype (that’s me!) – 52%

68% of runners observed no new injuries.
69% had their injuries disappear after starting a program of barefoot running.

Previous injuries that improved beginning to run barefoot were:

Knee – 46%
Foot – 19%
Ankle – 17%
Hip – 14%
Lower back – 14%


The survey proves that a large percentage, of the participant runners, either:

Benefited from barefoot running


Suffered NO serious injury from barefoot or minimalist running