Virtual Half Marathon?

Yesterday I applied for the Hot for the Holidays virtual half marathon.  What is a virtual half marathon? It’s a race organized online, and the participants run the distance wherever they live and may or may not report the time/mileage to the race organizer, if required, and then usually get some swag in return, sometimes a medal, maybe a shirt and some other goodies.

I considered a virtual half the weekend before the Raleigh half, which was attached to a real race, the Halloween Halfathon in Florida.  The deal for that race was that the 4 days of race weekend thu-sun, to run 13.1 miles and then you would get mailed a medal.  You didn’t have to run the whole 13 miles at once, you could break it up into any combination of miles as you wanted over the course of the 4 days.  This caught my eye since the weekend before Raleigh I would be running 4 and then 10, and so could accomplish this without messing up my Raleigh training schedule.  I hemmed and hawed about it for a while, and decided not to do it for a couple reasons.  The fact that you could break up the mileage was convenient but it also meant you weren’t actually running a half marathon.  The registration was also about the same as a 5K, I believe 40$, which is not bad for a half, but I don’t think I had it at the time, and I kinda felt like I was just “buying” a medal.  I wasn’t earning it.

For the Hot for the Holidays virtual half, of course it’s basically the same set up, but I don’t feel like I’m “cheating” on this one since the time frame for this virtual half (Thanksgiving to New Years) is wide enough to include one of my real half marathons, the Mistletoe Half on Dec 1.  So at one point within that time frame I will be running the full 13.1 at once and not breaking it up into chunks.  Also, the registration for this race was only 20$ which was easier to swing than the Halloween Halfathon.  The organizer of this race is raising money for a Florida shelter for homeless and at risk youth/teens the Covenant House, and if she raises over 600$ she’ll get to run the Walt Disney Half Marathon (which I will also be running!) as part of the Covenant House Home team, so I had to help her out with that right?

A 20$ donation to a worthy charity and earn 2 medals for my next half marathon, one “real” and one “virtual”? Sounds good to me!



  1. How/Where do you sign up for the Hot for the Holidays run?? I’ve tried to find it online & can’t seem to find it.

    • The Hot for the Holidays virtual run is full and not longer open for registration, but I found it when it was posted on the Half Fanatics group page on Facebook. There are some other virtual runs out there, the Holiday Halfathon is one in particular that I know of coming up that has a virtual option.

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  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.