As coronavirus cases accumulate in the U.S., people are told it’s best to keep a safe distance from others, even when exercising outdoors.
Taking heed of that advice, RunCodyWY race director Janie Curtis has postponed the Hunt Trail Races she’d organized for April 4, and replaced the event with The Virtual Hunt Trail Race.
A virtual race can be run anywhere. There’s no specific starting time or starting place. You just choose your favorite running path, dirt road or trail and go.
The Virtual Hunt Trail Race on April 4 is free. Simply run or hike on any trail or dirt road sometime during that Saturday.
“We will all be running together in spirit – at our own times and paces, and on our own trails – all while social distancing,” Curtis says.
To participate, download Strava on a smartphone and join The Virtual Hunt Trail Race club on Strava to track your run. First-time Strava users should search and download the app on a smartphone and create a user profile. Then search and join The Virtual Hunt Trail Race club.
Make sure your activities are set to “public” so on race day your run will be tracked through the club. To keep any prior runs tracked through the app private, set all activities leading up to April 4 to “private.”
“Just make sure you make your April 4 run public,” Curtis says.
The app will display your information as well as updates and information from Curtis. Send questions to her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I want to make it work for everyone,” she said.
People don’t compete for time in a virtual race. Instead, they will participate in other, more fun challenges, Curtis says.
Rather than typical race prizes for first, second and third place, competitors will be judged in a variety of categories, including Most Remote Trail, Best On-trail Selfie, Best Dog Selfie, Farthest Distance, Best Strava Map Art and Most Elevation Climbed.
There’s also a category for the Best Wildlife photographed on the course. Receive a bonus prize if you find an antler.
People who signed up for the Hunt Trail Races were told to wear some type of hunter orange. Virtual racers will instead be judged on Best Outfit using any theme. A photo is required.
RunCodyWY races also include the Buffalo Bill Cody Races and the Cody Beer Mile. Founded by Curtis, it is committed to supporting local organizations that reflect similar goals of health, fitness, well-being and happiness.
Rules for The Virtual Hunt Trail Race:
• Post your run on April 4 to The Virtual Hunt Trail Race club on Strava for everyone to see and, most importantly, for Curtis to see.
• Run outside. No treadmills allowed.
• Run on trails, or at least on dirt roads – the less maintained the better.
• Any distance is allowed.
• Take a picture of yourself during the run, or photograph the trail and views, then upload them to your Strava run for April 4.
• One submission per person.
• Don’t forget to take your dog.
• Remember COVID-19 social distancing recommendations. Stay six feet apart if you run with or near someone else.