Remember when a dinosaur proposed to his human girlfriend at the London Marathon?
Well, that dinosaur and his (now) fiancée Katie are getting married in August! And furthermore, they’ve started a new virtual running business together, to continue raising money for charity through the medium of virtual races and themed medals.
Chris (aka Roary) ran the hottest London Marathon on record in 2018 in his T-Rex costume to raise money for the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, a fantastic facility looking after some seriously ill young ones. He managed to raise over £3,500 for the charity that looked after Katie’s cousin James, who helped him recover from a critical condition when he was only two years old.
However, Chris and Katie would love to take the charity fundraising to the next level, raising money for many great causes, with the help of virtual runners around the world.
Introducing Rundraise Virtual Races
Rundraise (run meets fundraise!), is a new online platform offering virtual races and running challenges for runners of all abilities. With an array of funky themed medals for finishers, there will be races to suit all ages, for a variety of great charities.
Rundraise’s first race is of course, appropriately dinosaur themed, in the shape of the Jurassic Park run 5k, raising money once again for the Evelina London Children’s Hospital.
What is virtual running and why do it?
A virtual race is one that can be completed by runners at any time, in any place and at any pace. Runners enter the race online and then provide proof that they have completed the distance. This is easily done through a run tracking app or a finish time from a parkrun or other race. The virtual runner then receives their medal through the post, along with other goodies, including prizes for the winners.
Whilst physical organized races are great events, they can be far away, at inconvenient times, and be quite expensive. Whilst many runners love racing with a crowd, many others are anxious at the thought of this. Training for a race can also be arduous, particularly on wet and cold winter days.
A virtual race (or a running challenge over several weeks or months) offers that extra incentive. A reward for those long slogs in training, in the form of a medal and the knowledge that a percentage of the entry fee goes straight to charity. Virtual runs can offer themed medals in a way that most physical events can’t, themed on popular TV shows, animals, foods… you name it, there’s probably a medal for it. Most runners take pride in their medal rack, and a unique, colorful and wacky medal adds some great variety to their collection.
How else will Rundraise raise money for charity?
Rundraise is planning to develop a virtual running app. The idea is that this will act like a typical GPS run tracker, but with the bonus that every mile ran equates to a small donation to charity. As the miles rack up over the weeks and months, the money raised snowballs, and every mile really does count, at no cost to the runner. Rundraise is looking for sponsors to make this possible, funding donations through small well-placed adverts in the app.
Rundraise wants to build a supportive online community of virtual runners. This includes the option to join Rundraise as an affiliated athletics club, where runners will reap the benefits of reduced entry fees to races, stylish running apparel and access to training tips and plans. Members will also be given the option to choose the charity they want to benefit through their entry fees. And of course, Rundraise will do all they can to encourage and support runners through their own fundraising efforts.
How can I get involved?
Interested virtual runners can keep updated about the latest virtual races and running challenges on offer through the Rundraise website and blog. Not to mention photos from the wedding in August (expect dinosaurs!) and from Chris’ antics in other costume runs. Moving on from the T-Rex, his next dinosaur costume (a ferocious Raptor!) is waiting in the wardrobe. Chris also has thoughts of a ‘PokeRun’ in a giant Pikachu costume! Time will tell, watch this space.
Rundraise Virtual Races are based in the UK, but able to serve virtual runners all across the globe. You can take a look at the races and challenges on offer at the website, follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or contact Chris and Katie directly via firstname.lastname@example.org.