Virtual 5k Walk/Run Race
Virtual 5k’s are becoming more and more popular. Its a great way to promote exercise while social distancing. A virtual race is a race that can be run (or walked) from any location you choose. You can run, jog, or walk on the road, on the trail, on the treadmill, or on the track. You get to run your own race, at your own pace, and time it yourself.
Virtual 5k’s are a great fundraising idea because participants can participate from anywhere around the world. They are a lower cost to host since there are no costs for street closures, event permits, security, and all the other costs associated with typical races and fun runs.
Set the Details
Determine when it will happen. Participates can complete the race at their own pace, but setup a time frame for when the race is happening. You could setup it up for the week of National Health Center Week with times due at the end of the week. If you are trying to raise funds through the 5k, determine whether or not you are charging participants a fee, ask participants to collect pledges, or asking for donations.
Once you have determined the details of your virtual 5k, you need to create your registration for runners. You can do this through a tool like Eventbrite or setting up a Facebook event page. Facebook event pages are a great way to keep your participants up-to-date on any changes to the 5k race and to make announcements of the winners. You can also setup registration forms using Google Forms or Airtable. There are also specific tools out there developed for virtual races, but just keep in mind they likely aren’t free to use.
Design Race Day Shirts/Merchandise
One way to commemorate your event and/or raise extra funds for your cause is to sell t-shirts for the even. This is a great way to fund raise for your Health Center.
Promote the Race to Your Community
Share your Virtual 5k on social media, your website, email lists, and more. Encourage those is your immediate community to promote the race to their own friends.
Run the 5k
There are many ways to engage with your supporters on race day. Here are a few ways you can make this race virtually interactive with your runners:
- Make a playlist and share it with your participants so they have some shared tunes to cheer them on while they run.
- Have organizers and special guests share race updates throughout the day on social media. Post live Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories to show staff and participates doing your 5k.
- Ask participants to wear their commemorative t-shirts, and send in photos and videos of themselves running their race. Ask them to tag you or your organization so you can easily re-share these photos as they come in.
- Go Live on Facebook and Instagram to thank participants and give a final fundraising update at the end of the day. Remind participants to send in their photos, and congratulate those who fundraised the most, ran the fastest, or other awards you may choose to hand out.
Record Race Times
Ask your participants to submit their race times after they have completed their walk/run. If you are using an outside app to record the race,
Virtual 5k Resources
JustMOVE App: JustMOVE is a free virtual racing and fitness app that allows users to record their performance and create races. The app is free to download for both iPhone and Android. To create a race, go to racerunner.com. Please note the Association staff have not tested this app.
Spotify: Spotify is a digital music services that allows you to listen to millions of songs and podcasts. There is a free and premium version. If you are interested in creating a playlist for your race, Spotify allows you to create a playlist and share it.