Vegan Runners Virtual Race

VR2 Header

On Sunday 1 November I ran my first ever virtual race, the VR2 organised by my club Vegan Runners UK.

You may ask what is a virtual race? It is a race that can be run in any place and anywhere in the world. You can run it on your own or in a group and the distance you run is set by the race organisers. There can be a set starting time or not so each virtual race is different.

The VR2 was something I initiated and have been working on with a small committee since May. As we are a national club there aren’t many events that the whole club can get involved in and a virtual race seemed a perfect way to get everyone together. 1 November was chosen as the date as it is World Vegan Day and it was decided that all the profits from the race would go to Tower Hill Animal Sanctuary, so it was a lovely way for us runners to support the vegan community as a whole.Great Union Canal

For the race we asked everyone to run at least 5k, but they could do more, and they could start at any time. The only thing we insisted on was that all participants must be vegan on the day. There have been some lovely reports coming in, including many new runners who ran the 5k distance for the first time.

So how was my race?

I wanted to organise a group run on the day but unfortunately that didn’t go to plan. So in the end I ran with a smaller group of just me and my parents. We ran in Tring along the Great Western canal towpaths and set off just before midday.

Tring reservoir

Although the day started with heavy mist it quickly disappeared and turned into an absolutely gorgeous November day with blue skies and brilliant sunshine. It was really great being out on the towpaths, wearing my Vegan Runners vest and just having a fantastic time knowing that there were others doing the same as me.


Although it was officially a ‘race’ we weren’t racing, instead we took plenty of stops to enjoy the view and take photos. We didn’t set off with a distance in mind, so we carried on the towpaths for as long as we felt like it. My dad had pull a muscle earlier this week so after 2.5 miles he decided to turn back and wait for us in a convenient canal side pub we had passed.

So me and my mum carried on for another half mile or so until we reached a bridge where the towpath was slightly flooded. At this point we sat on one of the locks and enjoyed the late autumn sun before heading back.


We ran just under 5 miles by the time we joined my dad at the pub for a well-earned shandy. Afterwards we found a picnic spot to have sandwiches and the all important vegan cake! You have to have cake on World Vegan Day after all!



I really enjoyed the run. We were raising money for a great cause, encouraging people to go vegan for the day and getting people out and about together.

Would I do it again? Of course! Would I recommend a virtual race. Yes indeedy!

Did you run the VR2? I’d love to hear from you if you did.

Have you ever run a virtual race? What did you think?

  • mjk

    Wow these pics are beautiful! Have always wondered the logistics behind a virtual race, good on you for setting it up. Did you get many people join in? Great cause and great day to choose! Awesome work!

    Meg –

    • Nicola

      Thank you.

      We had 145 people sign up. Most were from the UK but we has people running in Singapore, Mexico and the USA.

  • Courtney@TriGirl Chronicles

    Looks like a beautiful place to run! Congrats on organizing a virtual race. That seems like so much fun!

    • Nicola

      It is beautiful. I love running a long the canals, although it can get busy in the summer.

  • Kristen K.

    i love virtual races! I love that I can run them anywhere at any time. And your “course” looked so beautiful!

    • Nicola

      I’d definitely run another virtual race, it was really fun.

  • Rachel @

    Now that is a beautiful virtual race!!! Looks like you did an amazing job. I’ve never tried virtual racing but it sounds like so much fun!!

    • Nicola

      I’d recommend doing one. I’ve had some great feedback from other people who ran it too. It may not be the last virtual race I enter!

  • Elizabeth

    Oh that scenery! Not only have I ran VR but I’ve been a race director too. Congrats on such a successful race!

    • Nicola

      Thank you! How did you do your race? Did you have a set distance or a set start time?

  • Amanda @bephoenixfit

    Beautiful! That’s so cool that you did this. I’ve been thinking of organizing a virtual race as well. Maybe I can pick your brain about it someday!

    • Nicola

      Please feel free to ask any questions. I’d be happy to help.

  • Rebecca Jacobs NC

    So cool that you organized this event and that all the money was donated!! What a wonderful thing. I totally support vegan eating!

    • Nicola

      Thank you. I’m really pleased with the feedback we’ve had and the amount we’ve raised.

  • Tricia Barber Vaughn

    Great on organizing your event and what a great event indeed. I have not done this particular one but I have run in Virtual runs before, my last being a couple months ago called Sole Sister Run and I knew several bloggers participating all over the country! They are very neat cause usually they go to charity and also you can choose when to do them.

    • Nicola

      I’ll have to look at the Sole Sister Run. Virtual races are such a great way to raise money for charity, they seem to be really popular.

  • Mar @ Mar on the Run

    Good job organizing a virtual race event! Kudos. I am not into virtual running myself but definitely see the intrigue and know they can do wonders for raising money to charities!

    • Nicola

      I think running with other people during the virtual race added to the experience. I know there were a few group runs for this virtual race, which added a community feel to something virtual.

  • Caroline

    I’m doing my first virtual race next month! 😀
    I’m a vegetarian by the way! So I am totally following you! Please let me know if there are any events I can join in on while still being over here in the US! Maybe we can organize another virtual race all over the world for Hug A Vegan/Vegetarian Day next year! That would be so cool!

    Happy to meet you through the blog hop! Will be stopping by again!

    • Nicola

      I hope you enjoy your virtual race next month. I’ll look out for a recap on your blog.

      It would be great to look at doing a joint virtual race. I’d definitely be interested in doing another one.

      • Caroline

        It would be much fun! Looking forward to chat about the details with you! I will email you to discuss more about it!

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