You may remember me mentioning a virtual 10k race that I did recently. I wanted to wait until I got my medal before doing a “race recap” and a recap of the Jost experience. Well, I finally got this baby in the mail, so I guess it’s recap time!
Jost Running is a company that was started by a mother/daughter duo, and the concept is pretty great. Each month, they have a new race series (Beat the Heat, Crank it Up, and Home Run are a few recent examples), and you can choose to do a 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, or Marathon. 5k and 10k races are $25, and Half and Full Marathons are $35. Each race series supports a different charity, so it’s nice to know that your entry fee isn’t just lining someone’s pockets.
I signed up for the Beat the Heat 10k, which benefits the charity Girls on the Run. GotR is a nonprofit that “inspires girls to take charge of their lives and define the future on their terms. It’s a place where girls learn that they can. No limits. No constraints. Only opportunities to be remarkable.” <–from their website. I was really happy to be supporting such an awesome organization!
How it Works:
- Register on the Jost Running website
- Print your bib and complete your distance on your own time–morning or night, weekday or weekend, all at once or break it up into chunks, whatever works for you!
- Log your finish time on the website, and see how you compare to other finishers (I’m currently in 7th place out of 16)
- Take a post-race selfie and tweet it to @JostRunning–they’ll have a great response and mostly likely retweet–they have a very active social media presence
- Get your medal in the mail and feel super proud!
I’m really happy with my experience with Jost Running. The cost is very manageable (especially for the half and full marathons!), and the medals are actually quite nice, unlike some other cheesy virtual race companies I’ve seen. Also, I’ve been really impressed with the various interactions I’ve had with the company. There was apparently a delay with my medal, even though I ran on Saturday and received my medal on Thursday (I didn’t notice, because it says on the website that while they try to get it to you before you run, they guarantee delivery no less than one week after you submit your time). Along with my medal, I received a nice 10k sticker, and a hand-signed note from Cynthia, apologizing for the “delay.” When I tweeted a thank-you, the company responded with a nice message. That’s how you do business, folks!
While virtual races will never replace real races, and it’s hard motivate yourself to race without crowd support and aid stations, it’s a great way to test your limits or run a new distance, support a charity, and get some bling! That’s really what it’s all about, right?
This was my first time racing a 10k distance, and while it wasn’t a race in the traditional sense, I pushed my pace as if it were actually a race. I really wanted to hit a sub 60-minute time, but because this was my longest run since the half and I’d never raced this distance before, I tried not to get my hopes up.
I tried to treat it as much like a real race as possible, so I got up early (Beat the Heat, get it?), drank a glass of Nuun and had a TJ’s whole wheat everything bagel thin with sunflower seed butter. I didn’t really plan a specific route, I just decided to go out along the bike path and turn around once I hit 3.5 miles.
It was sunny, but there was a nice breeze and it wasn’t too hot, so I set out with a pretty decent pace. I made the unfortunate mistake of deciding to try a new GPS app on my phone, and it was set to give me updates every .62 miles, which threw me for a pretty big loop. Thankfully, I was able to math enough that I estimated I was on track for a 60ish minute 10k, so I tried to keep my pace consistent. The bike path along the lake has a few rolling hills, and it was getting pretty warm by the turnaround, so I was very grateful for the water fountain I found in Oakledge park.
I snapped a photo of this really amazing, handicap-accessible tree house that’s in Oakledge park. There was a cyclist there who was also taking pictures, and he said, “Gosh, if I were a kid I’d LIVE here!” Me too, friend.
At about 4.5 miles, I wanted to be done, like really badly. I was still pushing the pace because I was still on track for my goal, but I was having a tough time. Out of nowhere the phrase, “The faster you run, the sooner you’re done” popped into my head, and I picked up the pace a bit. I was having a hard time keeping an eye on my phone for distance and time and not falling on my face, so I ended up finishing with a time of 1:00:17. This.close. to my goal. I wish I’d been paying closer attention, because I know I had enough gas to squeak in under 60 minutes, I just honestly didn’t see how close I was 😦 Further argument for splurging on a Garmin…
Really though, I am PYSCHED about this time, even though it was disappointing to be so close to my goal. I really didn’t think when I started that I would be able to do it, and now I know I can next time! It’s really exciting to see that I’m getting faster–my hill repeats and 400s are paying off! I can’t wait to see more improvement over the weeks to come, and see what all this speed work does for my half marathon time 😀
Have you ever done a virtual race?