By the time I registered for Ultra X’s Month of Miles virtual race, I had already registered for a few virtual races and accepted/embraced the idea that virtual races are the new normal until large-scale running events can return.
This specific race appealed to me for a few reasons:
I became aware of Ultra X when living in London, so to me, they’re a known entity.
I like that the challenge is a month long, so I have a lot of time to stay engaged and many opportunities to get active! There were several days during the challenge when I was not motivated to go out and walk/run after work, and knowing I had the challenge to complete got me out the door.
Since I’m currently injured, I have no desire to run a longer race, since…I can’t run for long periods of time (PT’s orders, I swear this time it’s not just laziness!). This means that I need to do a LOT of walking, which means that I am SLOW right now. Also, due to said slowness, I don’t want to complete distances longer than 10K right now–the SeaWheeze Virtual 10K took me 1:45 to complete, and while I enjoyed it, spending that much time outside (in the daylight) means running/walking during the heat of the day…no thanks.
Virtual Race Details
Cost: GBP 34.40/$30.80 this included the race + option for a medal (15 GBP) and international shipping outside of the UK or EU (7.50 GBP), plus a processing fee. I incurred the cost because I wanted the medal, and I have no regrets. There was also the option to purchase clothing, but I opted not to–if a shirt isn’t included in the price, I’m generally not interested.
Website: All the info I needed!
Social media: Ultra X has a good Instagram page and they also partner with running influencers/bloggers, which increases their online presence. The whole thing is done pretty well and isn’t cheesy, in my totally unprofessional opinion. It mostly appears to be people from the UK, with a few professional ultra runners from the US thrown into the mix. As this is a UK-based company, it makes sense.
Updates/Tracking: This is really the area where Month of Miles and Ultra X shone! The tracking system worked very well. Prior to the race starting, I received an email with information about which challenge group to join. I’ll admit that I didn’t read clearly and missed the password the first time around. I wrote to Ultra X and they responded super quickly. A+ customer service!
The way the tracking worked is that I synched the tracking program to my Strava account. Everytime I uploaded a workout to Strava, it would also go to Ultra X’s tracking program. After every workout logged, I’d get an email. Easy peasy! As a bonus, I got lots of fun data and charts! In addition to the image below, there was a chart showing everyone’s progress throughout the event, as well as a few leaderboards.
My only complaint is that the tracking stopped once I hit the 125km goal. Any additional workouts logged through Strava were not forwarded to the race tracking platform, and I would have preferred to see my total distance for the month. Tracking: A
Taken August 17 — Hooray for data!
Medal: I had a general idea what the medal would look like, based on past event medals. The medal itself is wooden (and the ribbon is purple, despite what the lighting implies), and it arrived on October 5, about a month after the challenge ended. The month waiting time is pretty standard.
I felt that the Ultra X Month of Miles was very well-organized. I especially liked the tracking component, and that I could see how my performance compared to others’. I liked that this challenge kept me active at a time when it is particularly hot and humid outside.
If I was looking for some running motivation, I’d seriously consider participating in another Ultra X virtual event in the future–hopefully one of the longer distance challenges! My main complaint is that by the time I received the medal, I’d already mentally moved on from the event, but that’s a problem with virtual races/the Israeli Post in general, and not something race organizers can control whatsoever.