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Virtual Race Recap: Vitality London 10K – October 24-November 1, 2020

Run through Central London, the Vitality 10,000 is a popular race that is typically held in the spring, meaning that I wouldn’t have been able to run it during my stint in London. However, thanks to COVID, now I can participate in the experience!

Race Details

Cost: 15 GBP/$19.41. This included receiving a bib via the mail, as well as a race shirt(!) and medal after the race. Honestly, this is an amazing deal, considering it includes international shipping. I imagine the in-person event is more expensive, what with permits, road closures, etc.

Website: Standard, had all the info. I emailed race staff to confirm that my registration included international shipping and they confirmed. Woo!

Social media: Didn’t check it, and I didn’t see any of the London or UK-based running bloggers I follow posting about the event. Every week or so, I received an email with information about the race. On October 20, I received my bib in the mail AND I received an email with logistical information (ie, how to track the event, when we’d get the shirts and medals….all the good stuff).

Updates/tracking: No live component. After the event, participants were asked to upload Strava results or manually enter the time with photographic evidence (a post-run watch picture). When I went to the website to upload my results, the Strava link wasn’t available, so I attached a screenshot from my Strava run. I then reviewed my personal info, and had the opportunity to update my address–this was clutch, as the race site said that shirts and medals would arrive by November 21, but I’m flying to the US on November 19…and things can get held up in customs… Basically, there’s a chance the package wouldn’t arrive to me before I flew, and the post office only holds packages for so long. As I will be in the US for 14 days and likely have to self-quarantine for up to 14 days upon my return, I was concerned that my shirt and medal would get lost in the ether that is the Israeli Post. Therefore, I updated my address to my parents’ house in the US, to ensure that I won’t miss my goodies.

But as for the run itself–I ran 10km in 1:04:13. This is nowhere close to a PR, but I ran the entire thing, and I ran it over 2 minutes faster than my 10km run from last week! On November 9, I received an email with a link to my finisher certificate:

This was a nice touch!

Race shirt: The shirt is unisex, which was extremely disappointing. Epic fail!

Medal: The medal is cute! Sure enough, updating my address to my parents’ house worked perfectly, and the medal (and lame shirt) was waiting for me when I arrived to FL.

In Conclusion

Virtual races just don’t have the same thrill as in-person events and part of me still feels silly to be essentially paying to go on regular distance runs where I am not gunning for a PR. However, virtual races are the new normal and I’m working to get back into PR shape. Or at least to run faster. In the meantime, I’m doing my best to enjoy the experience. As far as virtual races go, the Vitality 10000 is a slick event (with a very reasonable shipping timeline for the medal!), and I’m glad I decided to participate.

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