This week we caught up with Virtual Runner member David Gearing for a quickfire question session on Virtual Runner and what it means to be part of the community. Want to take part next time? Please get in touch.
When was your first Virtual Runner run and how did you get involved?
My first Virtual run was in July 2017. Virtual Runner UK came up as a “pop-up” on facebook as a site I might be interested in. I was!
How would you describe Virtual Runner to someone who has never heard of it before?
Virtual Running uses the internet and particularly facebook to allow runners to belong to a community of like-minded individuals to further their interest in running, allowing them to take part in a wide variety of runs which can be completed in their own time, usually within set periods ( for example, one week or one month). The reward is a themed medal, and you have the knowledge you are supporting a deserving charity. I particularly like the fact that smaller, lesser known but nonetheless worthwhile charities benefit.
When did you start Virtual Runner and what is the benefit of it over normal running?
I started in July 2017 so I am coming up to 2 years. Virtual running gives you a target, a purpose to achieve something along with hundreds of others. It is for everyone, young and old (I am pushing 74), expert or newbie. and a great stimulus for those who find it difficult just to run. Your routine runs can now be transformed into medal winning events, with the knowledge that a charity will benefit from your run. The Virtual Runner on-line community is so friendly and supportive, and importantly, inspirational.
If you had any advice for someone thinking about getting involved in virtual running what would you say?
Definitely sign up. It will fuel any passion you have for running. The Virtual Runner races allow you sign up for a variety of races, your personal preference maybe for the distance, the medal or the charity being supported. Also the cost is modest, maybe £10 to £12 per race and is certainly more affordable than major road races where £25 upwards can be the norm. Also, some people are not happy running in crowds, and set race dates may not be convenient to your life patterns. Virtual running allows you to set your timetable (within race rules) and run alone or with friends.
What is your favourite event/medal you have taken part in?
That’s easy. Being a “Top Gun” fan and general aviation nut (I feel the need, the need for speed), my two “Top Run” medals are the most cherished.
What have you gained through virtual running?
I feel I belong to something very worthwhile. There are some amazing people whose achievements inspire others to do the same. My grandchildren have become involved with my running and love the medals they have gained through dog jogs and joining me on “Star Wars” runs. I am very proud of my medals and delighted that my running will help worthwhile charities.