Welcome to the Operation Inspiration Virtual Race, a one-hour (or more) workout challenge on Saturday, April 4. If you missed the introduction to our Operation Inspiration project, head over to our rollout article.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives, running, and–for some of us and our loved ones–health. One of the biggest but necessary changes our community has seen is the cancellation and postponement of almost all races in the near term with little idea of when that reality will change.
Without these races and the inherent goals they allow us to work toward, our daily running might feel a bit rudderless. Not to mention, we’re missing the time spent with our community at these group events. The Operation Inspiration Virtual Race is, thus, meant to help give us a way to get our competitive juices flowing again and to gather around a communal physical effort.
We have another community goal for this virtual race, and it’s important. We’re now fundraising entirely for the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, which is working to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Together as a community, we raised more than $53,000 directly, which turned into an incredible $159,333 after a 2-for-1 match!
Below, we share the details of how to sign up for and participate in the virtual race as well as how to share your adventures from it.
[Editor’s Note: The race took place on April 4, 2020, and entries are now closed.]
How to Participate in the Operation Inspiration Virtual Race
Sign up for the race in the iRunFar Store. We are offering multiple entry fees, and we ask you to choose the one that’s financially feasible for you.
- Do your workout anytime on Saturday, April 4. Depending on local regulations, this might mean an outdoor run or an in-your-home workout. Whatever you can do for 60 minutes works.
- This is an honors-system challenge! Once you’re signed up, you’re in. By signing up for the race in the iRunFar Store, you’re automatically eligible for a random prize giveaway. with more than 140 prizes totaling over $16,000! We announced the winners by Sunday, April 12.
You can add $5 to your entry fee to purchase the Operation Inspiration Sticker Bundle containing 2 iRunFar logo stickers and 1 Operation Inspiration logo sticker (see logo to right), which we’ll ship post-race with free shipping.
If you’re a fan of iRunFar’s live race coverage, then you’ll love this. We’ll be livecasting the Operation Inspiration Virtual Race across our social media platforms, sharing people’s workouts from around the world as they are happening! We’ll also have virtual race day hangouts and race bibs to add to the race day feel. Entrants, stay tuned for our pre-race email where we’ll let you know about many of the details surrounding the race. This is going to be a blast!
Help Make This Communal
It’s our hope that this is truly a communal event.
Before the race, share it and your excitement about it with others in the comments section of this article and on social media (tag #OperationInspiration).
On race day, Saturday, April 4, keep spreading the stoke for yours and others’ efforts on social media (tag #OperationInspiration). While there’s no absolute need to join iRunFar’s Strava club, we’ll be having some fun over there on Virtual Race day. Consider joining our Strava club, logging your Virtual Race on Strava, and giving kudos to other participants.
After your workout, let everyone know how your workout went here in the comments and on your social media (tag #OperationInspiration).
Last, we encourage you to submit words, photos, and/or a video about your Virtual Race to us, so that we might share it with the larger community in Operation Inspiration’s Airdrop articles. See below for details.
Operation Inspiration’s Health and Safety Guidelines
As hard as it is to say out loud, we’re amidst a global health crisis. Our participation in Operation Inspiration must use the utmost care for the safety of ourselves, our community members, and our local government regulations.
In this light, we:
- Ask you to follow all your local government requirements and guidelines;
- Ask you to follow the social distancing and health suggestions in our article, COVID-19: A Trail Running and Ultrarunning Community Guide;
- Discourage you from running with anyone outside your household;
- Discourage you from traveling more than a very short distance to go for a run;
- Discourage you from remote or risky runs that might divert healthcare professionals to your search or care; and
- Encourage you to be creative in finding inspiring runs that have been hiding in plain sight or finding ways to make your indoor workouts more enjoyable.
Press for Operation Inspiration
Read more about Operation Inspiration from other media outlets:
- “Running for Community as Much as for Exercise,” New York Times, Jere Longman
- “Race With Kilian, Raise Money For The Fight Against Coronavirus,” TrailRunnerMag.com, Zoë Rom
- “Tayte Pollmann’s First Virtual Race Experience,” American Trail Running Association/TrailRunner.com, Tayte Pollmann
- “Workout with world’s running stars through iRunFar.com’s Operation Inspiration Virtual Race,” Durango Herald, John Livingston
How to Submit to Operation Inspiration’s Airdrops
We’re planning at least two articles sharing inspiration from within the iRunFar community. Here’s how you can make submissions for possible inclusion in those articles.
- From now through April 5, submit photos, videos, and stories from your inspiring runs or other workouts to operationinspiration at irunfar dot com. We’ll choose from among the submissions in our Airdrop articles.
- Please limit submissions to 2 paragraphs of text, 3 photos (horizontal layout preferred), and/or 1 video up to 30 seconds in length (again, horizontal layout, please).
- If your submissions are too large for email attachments, upload them to your public cloud of choice and send a cloud link as part of your email message to operationinspiration at irunfar dot com.
- Include your name and where you live, and limit submissions to 1 per person.
By submitting, you give us permission to use your name, location, and all or part of your submission in Operation Inspiration’s Airdrop articles, related video, and sharing these works on social media. We will never use your contact information or submissions for any other purpose.
Join us in the Operation Inspiration Virtual Race, our way to come together as a community even when we are physically apart! Thank you in advance for your support of WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund as well as iRunFar.
Wherever and however you can, get after it!
– Meghan, Bryon, and the iRunFar Team
Operation Inspiration’s Brand Support
Thanks so much to Operation Inspiration’s brand partners who’ve helped make this project possible!
We are continuously updating the Operation Inspiration Virtual Race entrants list. If you’ve recently signed up and don’t see your name yet, check back soon. If you see any errors, contact us with a correction.