Virtual Runner UK was founded by Susan from Nottingham and for any small business surviving 10 years is definitely a milestone that should be celebrated! There have been many developments within VR UK, but so many things have remained the same – including the fact that Susan is the sole person working on the emails, marketing, finance, medal fulfilment, etc.
Virtual Runner was built on the foundations of celebrating successes so this week’s blog is focusing on the ways that I (Susan) have decided to mark this amazing anniversary. In true fashion of the content I am currently pulling together – there will of course be a theme around the number 10!
1. parkrun tour
I am now most of the way through my parkrun tour of 10 different parkruns in 10 weeks – read an earlier blog here for details on where I have been going (and what is still to come). I have been touring across parts of the UK and Ireland to spread a little VR love. It’s been a juggling act to organise the travel and there have been some challenges along the way including flooding and cancelations but very little has got in the way of the parkrun fun. The events might have been different from what I set out to do, but the tour and celebrations have continued.
2. Themed medals
Virtual Runner would not be Virtual Runner without the bling so I developed a range of challenges to coincide with the 10th birthday month themed around the number 10! This has include a November 10k, November 10 mile and November 10k steps a day challenge. The community have been invited to get involved with these challenges and as usual we are donating 20% from every race entry back to charities.
Running competitions during November has now become an annual tradition for Virtual Runner, but this year has been the biggest and best yet – with many more to come! I am launching a different competition at 8am daily on our Facebook page and prizes have included merchandise and entries from Virtual Runner, plus from a range of my favourite third party businesses including Iceni, Reading Half Marathon, Flanci, Boobydoo, K9Trailtime, MonkeySox, BigBear, REdbEAR Sports, Oriflame, Just Wicks, SBR Events, Koko & Kind, Robin Hood Half Marathon, Lucy Locket Loves and more! In addition to this, many of the business I have partnered with to make this happen have included a 10% (or more discount) for those who weren’t lucky enough to win. Go check out our Facebook page for more details!
4. Big Bear Event – 23rd November
Big Bear Events run one of my favourite style of races – running to time with no pressure and the most amazing aid stations ever! Coincidentally, Big Bear are running one of these events at Salcey Forest on our actual birthday – 23rd November. I have signed up and will be bringing a special VR 10 themed large cookie plus goodies for everyone joining the race on the day. If you’d like to join, Paul from Big Bear is offering the Virtual Runner community a 10% discount on entry at this event (Dormouse Challenge), simply use code VR10 to redeem. Hope to see you there, i’m likely to be found at the aid station!
Over the past few weeks, I have also been producing a weekly blog themed with the number 10. This is now the penultimate one in the series, but check out what i’ve been writing about here. I have been publishing the blogs every Tuesday and I do hope you’ve enjoyed them/found them informative, etc. Topics have included my 10 favourite medals, 10 race tips, Virtual Runner’s 10 biggest moments to name a few.
6. Beeston parkrun
In addition to the Big Bear challenge on our actual birthday, I will also be celebrating the 10th year anniversary at Beeston parkrun. I have selected Beeston as this was the first parkrun I ever did and it is also home to a number of Virtual Runner’s biggest supporters! I will be bringing goodies (currently think pain au chocolat for a post run treat) and I would love for as many of you to join me as possible. I’m encouraging a colour scheme of red, white and blue to match our brand colours so wherever you’re running (presuming you can’t make it to Beeston), i’d love to see you digging out clothes to coordinate 🙂
7. New challenge launches
In the run up to the birthday, I will be launching a new challenge to the Virtual Runner 2024 calendar every day for 10 days! These are all completely new designs with a range to suit everyone – keep an eye on our social media pages and website for the new additions. I have been keeping this under wraps and i’m very excited to show them all off.
8. MonkeySox collaboration
I wrote much more about our partnership here but it wouldn’t be right to talk about our celebrations and not include this! Monkey Sox are a brand that are passionate about charity and good quality products and I’m so proud to have been able to align my brand to theirs and bring to you a challenge and some socks. I saw a few pairs in the wild this week and it really made me smile. If you’re purchased a pair, I hope you’re enjoying them!
9. Celebratory logo
I organised to have a special VR logo commissioned to celebrate 10 years in operation. I wanted something very close to our original but I couldn’t have but shout about the milestone, so here it is!
10. Community Posts
The people – YOU make Virtual Runner what it is and without the members this idea of mine couldn’t have happened. To showcase our wonderful community (a drop in the ocean of what you guys get up to), I have 10 posts going live on our social media pages dedicated to 10 of our members. They will certainly make you feel good reading them!
These activities will certainly be keeping me busy and hopefully we can all have some fun along the way too. Thanks for being a part of the last 10 years, here’s to the next 10!