running: virtual races.

As I mentioned in my last post, I've decided to start running as a new hobby. I also brought up virtual races; here's a bit about them.

I had already decided to commit to running as a hobby when I stumbled by chance upon this concept of virtual races, and, specifically, the Hogwarts Running Club.

Oh my goodness. Holy Motivation, Batman! I think I found something to give me a much-needed extra push to commit to this running thing.

Basically, it's a not-for-profit group that hosts several virtual races a year; you sign up, pay the entrance fee, run the race on your own time wherever you want, and they mail you an amazing Harry Potter themed race medal, specific to the theme of that particular race. The rest of the proceeds minus the medal money goes to selected charities the club sponsors.

All photos via hogwartsrunningclub.org

So, this is definitely something I am interested in doing. But I honestly can't afford to spend the money on all of the races. But there's another awesome way to stay involved without spending: the House Cup competition.

Basically, you choose (or go to Pottermore and get sorted) your Hogwarts House, and join the Facebook common room for your House. Then, you download this app called Charity Miles, which donates money based on mileage to a variety of charities. Through the Charity Miles app, you join your House's team, and use the app to log your miles ran/walked/cycled; this keeps track and adds your miles to your house's for the House Cup competition. I'm not sure how the final tally will be determined, since the Houses don't have equal members (sorry Hufflepuff, womp, wommmmp) but the donation and competition aspects, as well as the obvious Harry Potter appeal, is enough to get me excited. And even when I'm having a rough stretch where finding time to do my solo runs is difficult, I can still log miles in the form of family walks in the evenings. I can't help but think it's a little cute that as we walk the dogs, they are, in a way, helping us raise money for the ASPCA...aww.

This all gets me very excited to add Hogwarts Running Club races to my running goals, all while participating in the House Cup competition as I train! I think I am going to set aside some birthday money to do at least one, or perhaps two, races before the year is out. A new race will be announced in less than a week, and I can't wait to find out what it is! 

Oh, and I should add...Hogwarts Running Club isn't the only virtual race organization out there. Here are a few of the other geeky-themed virtual race sites I've stumbled upon of late:

The Nerd Herd

This year's races are Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Doctor Who-themed! I believe they're going to do a Time Travel event where you can participate in a previous race from earlier this year.

Virtual Nerd Runs

This year's nerdy-themed races which are still available are the Jedi Challenge (the medal is AWESOME) and a Back to the Future-themed race!


Like the Hogwarts Running Club, this one is more than just a series of races; it's more of an interactive online community for nerdy virtual run participants to connect and encourage one another. The overall challenge each year is to log enough miles to reach a destination in our Solar System; this year is Mars. In addition, individual races include themes such as Spaceballs, Independence Day (as in the movie), and E.T. Also, I am totally bummed I already missed their Klingons Against Cancer race! Because, Klingons!!

Count me in!

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