Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Inspiration4 Miler to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews.
Last month, my youngest son and I participated in the Inspiration4 Miler Benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. My family has always been hugely supportive of St. Jude, and since a portion of each race registration fee went to help support children’s cancer research, we were all in. I loved that the race theme coincided with all of the hype surrounding the upcoming launch of the the Crew Dragon Resilience, which would be the first orbital spaceflight in history with only private citizens on board. It was very interesting to learn about the four crewmembers, which included an experienced military pilot, a former childhood bone cancer patient who was treated at St. Jude, the friend of someone who ‘won’ his ticket in a raffle, and an entrepreneur who won his spot in a competition.
My son and I (and our pup Blue) logged our miles on September 15th to celebrate the successful launch. While we covered a whopping four miles, the flight reached an orbital altitude of approximately 364 miles. Pretty impressive!
This was a fantastic virtual race experience, and the race swag was out of this world (yeah, I went there)! We received a race bib, a quarter-zip tech shirt, a cap, and a commemorative Inspiration4 Miler Benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® medal.
Registration only cost $40, and runners could choose to make an additional donation to support St. Jude, as well as use the race as a fundraiser. The top fundraiser would win a trip for two to the St. Jude launch party for Inspiration4 on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021 (the day before the launch) in Cape Canaveral, Florida, including a private dinner in an open-air hangar, American Airlines vouchers for round trip airfare and a two-night hotel stay at the Hilton Cocoa Beach!
I do realize that running a virtual race isn’t for everyone. I have been doing them for years as a way to stay motivated and especially to help support some of the smaller races to which it would be cost-prohibitive for me to travel. The pandemic has helped introduce virtual races to many runners who may have never participated in them before, and I would bet has provided the opportunity for some who for whatever reason might not ever run an in-person race. One of the things I love about the running community is that it is so inclusive. A virtual race such as this is just one more way the running community can be supportive and welcome all to the sport.
How do you feel about virtual races? Will you continue to do them once the situation allows for more in-person races? Check out more reviews by some of my fellow BibRave Pros: Meredith, Scott, Cynthia, and Tracie!
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On my 2021/2022/2023 Race Calendar:
March 5, 2023: Tokyo Marathon
November 7, 2021: Hot Chocolate Chicago 15K
September 18, 2021: Virtual 2021 B.A.A. Half Marathoner
September 15, 2021: Inspiration4 Miler Benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®
July 31, 2021: PNC Chicago Bears Virtual 5K