Last October, I completed my first “virtual” race: the Ghost Race. Unlike other races, you paid $0, got to pick the day & time of the race, and you received a $25 Lululemon gift card instead of a medal. Pretty sweet!
I didn't set out to do this race. I stumbled across this symbol on one of my runs.
Soon after, I saw this post on Strava. I convinced a friend to sign up and we set the date. We registered, like a normal race, but made sure to review the route beforehand. After a few false starts (my friend had never used Strava before :), we were off!
My friend worked hard and ended up getting a PR. So proud of her. After we finished, a woman came up to us. It turns out she ran the Ghost Race with us and said that we pushed her. So cool!
If you want to try a virtual race, the New York Road Runners is hosting three virtual races at the beginning of this year. Two of the three are free. Unlike the Ghost Run, you set the course. I already completed the Resolution Run 5k (ironically, I ran a non-virtual race with a similar name on January 1st). I plan to run it again with a friend this weekend.
Lululemon does not have another virtual race scheduled, but it's currently hosting the 40 | 80 Challenge. You can still join, but keep in mind that it only includes mileage from January 2-15. I signed up and encourage you to do the same.
This is a great time of year to peer pressure friends and family to join you for that local Jingle Bell Jog or spin class. The weather isn’t too cold yet and people are looking for an excuse to burn off holiday party over-indulgences. Plus, they can save their money for presents - most of the below is **FREE**
There are two new studios opening up in NoVA that are offering free classes. Since they are both franchises, they are also a great way to support a local business owner!
Cyclebar Falls Church is offering free classes through December 10th. There’s ample *free* parking under the Harris Teeter, so you don’t even need to go outside to get to the studio. Once the free classes end, use promotion code “201” in order to take advantage of the special opening rates.
Barre3 Clarendon is offering free classes in a “pop up” location in Arlington. There is street parking right outside of the location, and it is across from a Whole Foods and Starbucks (which saved me after their early morning class).
In addition, Lululemon Mosaic is hosting free yoga classes at 9:30 AM on Sundays in December.
Fitbit Local has two events coming up in DC, including Burpees & Beer on December 10th.
Barry’s Bootcamp is opening in Washington DC on December 9th, but alas I do not have a free class code for you…yet. I’ll try to get one for you!
DC Road Runners hosts many races throughout the year, most of which are free to members ($25 for the year). Not sure you want to commit to the annual membership? You can pay as little as $10 to participate in a race.
Potomac River Running hosts many inexpensive races throughout the season. They also have a really fun promotion right now, just in time for the holidays – 4 race entries for $110! It's good one to put on your wish list.
Altis Endurance Sports hosts several races in Virginia and Maryland. I recently ran the C&O Canal Towpath Path Half Marathon. Packet pickup was a breeze, parking was ample (and free!), and the fee included a t-shirt and finisher medal. I also won first female so I was awarded at pint glass too :) Use code “altisrunner15” for 15% off any race – which are all very affordable to begin with!
Kate Scott is an avid runner, who has completed three marathons and numerous half marathons. She travels frequently, most recently to Toulouse and Bordeaux in France. She currently lives in Northern Virginia and is a certified public accountant.