Our massive list of 30 (and counting) virtual races of all shapes, and sizes
As running events—whether trail, road, or ultra—continue to be cancelled, virtual runs have taken over as a way to give athletes targets, help with motivation, mental health, and balance while also offering a sense of community. Here are 25 virtual runs, mostly in Canada, some in the United States, and a few more global options.
We will be adding to this list as we find more virtual races so be sure to check back.
After an incredible first event that captured the imaginations of thousands of isolating ultra runners from 55 countries around the world, the Quarantine Backyard Ultra is set to return for another round on July 11. It’s free, and it’s backyard style, meaning participants must run a set distance every hour, whether on a treadmill or outside. And the race will continue every hour until there is one remaining. Last time, American ultramarathon runner Mike Wardian took the title after 63 hours and 262 miles. Can he defend?
The team at VR Pro Races (Chilly Half Marathon) is launching a charity virtual run to benefit three local Ontario hospitals: Hamilton Health Sciences, Joseph Brant in Burlington, and St. Joseph’s in London. Upon race entry, COVID-19 Virtual Run participants will be sent virtual race kits and will have six weeks to run or walk the race anytime between June 1 and Aug. 30 and then submit results. Each participant will also receive a beautiful and unique medal, as well as a Clif gift pack, custom imprinted face mask, and race bib.
The team behind some of the best-known trail ultras in North America have developed a season of virtual races and a speaker series. The first race of the season, Beat Sinister, was held on May 23, but there are two races left. All About Vert is set for June 13, "The name is basically the format. You love hills, and we want to give you what you love. Choose a hill or get on your dreadmill (seriously - aren't you tired of being inside?). You can start any time before 1200 hours on June 13 and you have 24 hours to get as much vert as possible." The Pure Ultra is scheduled for July 4-5. It is a classic race, participants pick a time option 30, 24, 12 or 6 and see how far they can run. The race is open to solos or teams. Individual entry to the races includes a custom buff, celebratory sticker and finisher medal.
The Inca Trail Virtual Marathon takes you 26.2 miles along the Inca Trail in Peru and right through Machu Picchu, one of the new seven wonders of the world. Well, in your head at least. Each time you complete any distance-based exercise activity such as running, walking, cycling, swimming, you advance along the Inca Trail. Complete the challenge from anywhere in the world. Add the impressive Inca Trail medal to your collection.
From the fine folks at the venerable VR Pro Races (Chilly Half Marathon) comes this exciting virtual run that celebrates our country on its birthday. The Virtual 5K & NEW Virtual 10K Race options that can be run between June 1 and August 15, and include all of the amenities of the live event. You’ll get everything you need for your virtual race sent directly to your home including a very snazzy race medal, race bib, and T-shirt.
The Skyrunning community of athletes and fans will be able to take part in the Skyrunner Virtual Series “celebrating seven iconic Skyraces by participating in them from home.” To participate, entrants simply choose a category based on whether they plan on running indoors or outdoors or doing another form of sporting activity for at least 45 minutes on race day. Participants are asked to print race bibs or create their own and then watch the live stream of each race, interact with the Skyrunner athletes and share their activity for a chance to win prizes from official suppliers such as the latest Merrell “Sky” products and items from Compressport.
Run For Water and Food For The Hungry Canada are partnering to bring you a free virtual race to help you and your loved ones stay active during this unprecedented time. Race organizers are also raising funds to help our partners in Ethiopia prepare for the pandemic. There is an Abbotsford virtual race scheduled for any time between May 25-31 and Calgary is scheduled for June 13-20. 100 per cent of donations will be matched by a group of generous donors and will be going to support this COVID-19 response plan in communities you have helped us empower with clean water over the years. Tax receipts for donations of $20 or more will be issued.
Canada’s longest-running marathon has gone virtual. Register for the 2020 Scotiabank Calgary Marathon and run anytime between May 31 and September 27. Race kits including a commemorative race shirt featuring the Peace Bridge, finisher media, downloadable event badge, personalized race bib, and more. There is also the opportunity to fundraise for local charities.
A virtual run from Yarmouth to Meat Cove, Nova Scotia. In the spirit of the Great Race Across Tennessee, starting June 1 runners will participate in a virtual run across the province of Nova Scotia. “Can you average 56k/week for 99 days, from anywhere in the world!? That's what you have to do to complete it on time. Doesn't sound too bad...only 8k/day, right!?” There is a solo as well as a team relay option. There will be a Strava group for anyone who would like to join in and track progress, but it is not mandatory.
The Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend may have been cancelled but those who love this experience can opt for a virtual race anytime from now until Sept. 7. All you need to do is register and choose the appropriate distance from 2k right up to the full marathon. There is also a virtual kids marathon and a few different challenges that combine distances. Swag including shirts and medals will be mailed to all participants. Everyone who registers for Tamarack Ottawa Virtual Race Weekend 2020 will receive a promo code in September 2020 which will entitle them to 50% off any Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend 2021 event.
From the folks that brought you the Quarantine Backyard Ultra comes this fun summer virtual run series that begins with a simple concept: How far can you run in a given time? One male and one female who ran the farthest win. The trick is that as the summer goes by, the amount of time increases from 20 minutes on May 30, to 45 on June 27, three hours on July 25 and 12 hours on Aug. 22. It sounds like a great challenge. Each race, according to Personal Peak, is a “time trial targeted at a different intensity zone, which means no matter who you are, how fit you are, or how fast you are, everyone racing will be working just as hard, for just as long. The only difference is that one person will go farther than the rest.”
On June 3, be a part of a relay race with runners all over the world. Your team will be running from 12:00 AM to 11:59 PM and virtually handing off the baton to the next runner every 30 minutes. All runners will receive a medal and t-shirt which will be mailed out at the end of June. When it's your turn, you'll receive a message from your teammate who just finished, run or walk your leg, and send a message to the next runner on your team to start their turn.
You’re invited to the Virtual Banff Marathon, Half Marathon, and 10K taking place from June 20tto July 5, 2020. BYOC (Bring Your Own Course) and organizers will bring everything else! You can run whenever, wherever. This is an opportunity to stick to your original Banff Marathon goals, stay healthy and receive all the amazing race day goodies. You will have your own finish line, but you won’t be alone! You will be connected together with the spirit of the other participants and the strength of the Rocky Mountains!
Great Race Across Tennessee
Laz Lake, otherwise known as Gary Cantrell, of Barkley Marathons’ fame is adding his characteristic flair to the virtual racing scene. The Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee will see runners take part in a massive online 1,000-kilometre epic journey. The race began May 1, according to event information, at the “bottom left corner of Tennessee” and proceeded to cross the state, logging 1,000K in the process. Participants have four months to complete the race, but those who have time to spare are asked to consider another 1,000K by completing an out-and-back route.
The Toronto Women’s Half Marathon/10k/5k has gone virtual this year. Participants have from now until June 7 to complete the run. “You can run anytime, c, as long as you practice physical distancing.” Organizers will mail your souvenir run shirt and exclusive half marathon finishers’ necklace or 10k/5k finishers’ medal to you. After you have done your virtual run, you can share and upload your run photos and results. Set your own pace at the Toronto Women’s Virtual Half Marathon and you’ll continue to support our charitable partner, POGO, the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario.
The Beaches Running Club Jazz Run is offering a virtual 5k, 10k, Half Marathon and this year they have added a "Provincial Pass" of 1568 km. This team run begins June 1 and can be completed at your own pace. The event is for teams of four (max). The distance is the longest point to travel across Ontario, which is equal to seven kilometres per person per day to complete this event between June 1 and July 26. Log mileage on public site. There will be prizes. All events are $55 and include your bib (to be sent out ahead of time) and your medals that will arrive later on (possibly after the event depending on production abilities and Covid-19). Swag: BRC Special Edition Buffs (artwork pending).
This annual virtual event is for runners of all abilities anywhere in the world. This year, the event is going big and supporting numerous small running-based businesses, photographers, and artists impacted by COVID-19. The event will take place over seven days from July 6-12. Each day will have a different individual challenge with an overall weekly goal of running a combined 24,901 miles around the world. Just register for the event, and you’ll get tons of awesome gear, then get ready to run each day from July 6-12.
Runners have until July 31, 2020 to virtually run one of the most scenic marathons in Canada. All runners receive tech shirts, medals, and discounts on future events. Share your journey on social media. Even if you didn’t register for the race before it was cancelled, you can still race this year and earn your exclusive 2020 rewards.
An opportunity for participants to continue to stay healthy and active while achieving mileage goals. In this event, runners from all over the world can run across the State of Washington, virtually, between June 20 - September 22. Organizers have created multiple challenges to keep people running and staying healthy. Each challenge has a different theme and mileage to complete. At the completion of each chosen event, participants will earn #RUNWA Swag in the form of a custom race bib, race shirt/race tank, and custom challenge medal!
This canine-forward event raises money for 25 local animal shelters. The $25 adult registration includes a race T-shirt, race bib, and finisher’s medal. Post results to the Facebook page upon completion. Run your race, for the dogs, between May 30 and June 30.
This virtual run, one in a series from the I Run 4 Movement group, is ideal for those who of a certain vintage to remember the iconic Tom Cruise film Top Gun. You can run this particular race anytime and anywhere, and you’ll be raising awareness and funds for Feeding America while you’re at it. Just register ($50) to complete the 5K or 10K option and away you go. Those registered will be shipped an official “I Run to be Really, Really, Ridiculously Good Looking” shirt, finisher medal and race bib. When complete, share your run information and photos via social media (#RunWIthMeGoose #IRun4Movement).
One of the best-known trail runner series in Canada has gone virtual this year with a five-event program that runs from June to October. Races are in four different categories: sport, enduro, grit, and kids. In each category there is a mileage progression from month to month. Sign up for the entire series and get a sweet 5 Peaks hoodie, plus the swag associated with each individual event. Singe race entry is $55, series is $275.
Another challenge from the folks at 5 Peaks, this virtual event begins on Canada Day, July 1 2020. Participants from around the world will have the opportunity to race across this great country and will have one year to complete the challenge of 4800 kilometres. The challenge ends on July 1, 2021. Log your mileage every time you walk, run, or ride, and post your distance. Once you’ve registered, organizers will send instructions on how to log your mileage, and the system will integrate with Strava. Each time you log your mileage, you’ll be able to see your results and how you stack up against everyone else tackling the challenge! This is all about bragging rights.
After 12 years, this local event in The Battlefords, Saskatchewan is switching to a virtual edition for 2020. Pick a start date between Aug. 28 and 30, pick your own start time and finish line! “You want flat and leisure? You got it! You want some rolling hills and mud? Go for it! Then, submit your race result to see where you placed. Participants can choose between the 1K family run, 5K, 10K, and long course (16k) virtual race options for this free family event.
Registration is open for this run, which usually takes place in Vancouver’s Stanley Park. The $28US fee includes a 14-week training plan developed by lululemon global ambassador Rob Watson, a digital badge on Strava, finisher medal, and a $2 donation to the race’s 2020 Her to Be partners Vinyasa Yoga for Youth and Red Clay Yoga. The virtual run is scheduled for Aug. 15-23.
The popular Canada Army Run is going virtual for 2020. The virtual race is set to be run Sept. 12-20 with options that include a 5K 10K, 15K, 21.1K, and 26.1K. Each individual race distance will include an exclusive merchandise item including shirts and hats. All participants will also receive the following:
- Nutrition product by xact nutrition
- Hydration Product by nuun hydration
- Virtual Race Kit
- Finisher's Certificate (emailed after completing your race)
- Finisher's challenge coin
According to Army Run organizers, participants can complete the virtual race any time during the competition window and can also be re-attempted as many times as you'd like, but only until results are submitted. At that point, participants will be able to view results online as well as a personalized finisher certificate.
This virtual race is organized by Atlantic Chip. Although it is not a chip-timed event, participants are encouraged to upload their own results. And, you get a whack of cool swag including a personalized custom bib, awesome finishers medal, non-medical face mask, and finishers certificate. Distances include a 5K, 10K, 15K, and half-marathon. There will be random prizes. Registration is open until July 10.
This event is a unique virtual race spanning the length of Vancouver Island to benefit the Vancouver Island Crisis Line. Run, Walk or Hike 460 kilometres over the two months of June and July, averaging 7.6km per day. You could also complete this race on a treadmill, but organizers are using the race to encourage folks to get outside and explore local trails! There is also a 100K version, which is the width of Vancouver Island. Register via Race Roster.
This event was set to occur on April 4 but has been postponed until Nov. 7. Organizers will be offering participants a virtual race edition and a chance for participants to earn a medal this spring through their virtual edition. Stay connected to your fellow runners through social media using our official race hashtag #UASpringRunOff on Instagram and Twitter. You can also join the event Facebook Event Page. The virtual run can be completed any time before July 1 by walking running or jogging on a treadmill. The event is $35 and participants receive a race kit that includes a virtual bib, Under Armour souvenir Shirt, finishers medial, virtual finishers badge as well as a 25 per cent discount on Under Armour products.
All three of this Sudbury, ON-based trail running series events will be virtual for 2020 including the APEX Dash (May 24-31), APEX Heart (July 1-8) and APEX Warrior (Sept. 20-27). The events will be run at the same time as originally scheduled but participants will have one week to finish the trail run. Race organizers will be sending out swag to each participant as well as outlining a recommended course. They also ask that participants upload a photo or video of your race experience to the event social media and with the hashtag #runwithapex. Races are $40 each.