Race Recap: The Ryan Walsworth Virtual Spear-It 5K

I found out about the Ryan Walsworth Virtual Spear-It 5K when I was searching RunSignUp.com for budget virtual races. This run, part of the National Asparagus Festival that takes place each June in Oceana County, Michigan, was converted from an in-person event to virtual due to the pandemic. The entire festival was cancelled for the year.

It's maybe a silly reason but I've been on big asparagus kick for the last year or so and the thought of an asparagus-themed race made me laugh but was also really appealing. So, why not? I signed up kind of late so I missed the June 14th deadline to complete the race, but I got it done soon afterwards. I also added this festival in "The Asparagus Capital of the Nation" to my travel bucket list.

Virtual Race Goal
Since I ran the Sugar Skull Virtual 5K on May 31, I've had on-and-off Achilles and heel pain, so I've been trying to take it easy. My plan was to walk and not concern myself with my time.

Race Day: June 19, 2020
The physical race would have taken place on June 14. It was about 79°F with bright sunny skies and 84% humidity when I started at 8AM on June 19.

Mile 1, 2, 3+: 15:15, 15:42, 14:31, 1:32
So I had meant to walk this virtual race, but when I began I had very little heel or Achilles discomfort, so I added a few little jogs here and there. Often the pain improves as I run but that was not the case on this morning, unfortunately. At least it felt really good to sweat and get my heart pumping.

Swag
This is my new favorite race shirt. The annual asparagus festival race was forced to go virtual because of the virus so the shirt has a virus theme. So of course it has a running spear of asparagus wearing a mask. It's perfect. The medal is pretty good, too.

Recommendation
I have no idea what the physical race is like but the swag was so fun for this virtual race and I'd do it again if they have to go virtual again.

Garmin GPS elapsed time: 46:59
Cost: $23

Report written June 19, 2020

Race Recap: Beck 5K Angels for the Arc Virtual Race

Before the Beck 5K Angels for the Arc race was converted to a virtual event due to the pandemic, it was on my radar as a local-ish race up in Palatka, Florida. The race is put on to support The Arc of Putnam County, a charitable organization that provides assistance to intellectually and developmentally disabled children and their families.

Race organizers already had the bling in hand and decided to offer the event as a free virtual run, complete with real medal, for anyone who signed up. I registered for the free race and then added a separate donation.

Virtual Race Goal
Since I ran the Sugar Skull Virtual 5K on May 31, I've had on-and-off Achilles and heel pain, so I've been trying to take it easy. My plan was to go by feel and not concern myself with my time.

Race Day: June 6, 2020
The physical race would have taken place on this day, June 6th. It was about 75°F, 94% humidity, and on-and-off rain during my late-morning run.

Mile 1: 13:05
Felt okay.

Mile 2: 14:14
Started feeling bad.

Mile 3+: 17:11, 1:14
Some pain. Mostly walked.

Swag
Runners received this nice medal in the mail.

Recommendation
I mean who can refuse a free race with bling? The medal is nice, and the run is for a good cause. I would definitely consider running this small race in person in the future. It's a nice drive up to Palatka. :)

Garmin GPS elapsed time: 45:43
Cost: FREE ($15 donation)

Report written June 19, 2020

Race Recap: Sugar Skull Virtual 5K 2020

A local race company, Red Pointer Productions, put on a very popular and successful virtual challenge for the month of May - the Miles de Mayo Challenge. I participated in this, making the 100 mile tier. For the last day of May they offered a virtual race, the Sugar Skull 5K, to finish up the month of miles.

Virtual Race Goal
I didn't have a time goal but I hoped to run/walk consistently for the entire race.

Race Day: May 31, 2020
It was about 75°F with 83% humidity and sunny skies when I started my run at 7:41AM.

Mile 1, 2, 3+: 13:15, 13:09, 13:21, 1:10
I felt okay, just a little sluggish in the heat and bright sun of the morning. After this run my Achilles started acting up a lot and I've had to take it pretty easy since.

Swag
For this race runner received a massive masked Sugar Skull medal. The medal is pictured here with the Miles de Mayo shirt which used the same logo.

Recommendation
Red Pointer Productions puts on great events, including their signature event Shark Bite Half Marathon. The Miles de Mayo Challenge spawned an active Facebook group full of encouraging and inspiring posts. The huge medal is insanely awesome. I'll do more Red Pointer Productions physical races for sure and I'll keep an eye out for future virtual events. Recommended.

Garmin GPS elapsed time: 40:55
Cost: $29

Report written June 18, 2020

15 Budget Virtual Races with Swag To Run In July 2020

Due to pandemic-related race cancellations and postponements, 2020 has seen the rise popularity of virtual races. 

Are you looking for your next virtual race?
I found the following virtual races that offer different levels of swag at budget-friendly prices. These might have additional fees, like a sign-up platform fee or shipping. I tried to note these but I may have missed some. The races also vary in their results submission requirements and when you need to complete your run.

I'm not affiliated with any of these races and cannot vouch for their quality. Some races may have referral links. Please check all available information before registering in case of errors in the list below. Also note that some of these races support charitable causes and will give you the option to add a donation to your low-cost registration.

1 Red, White & Brew Virtual Running Festival

  • Cost: $34 + $3 SignUp Fee | Shipping Included
  • Charity: Friends of Fusion Foundation
  • Swag: Medal, Shirt or Tank*, Running Hat*
  • Registration Price Increase: June 28 2020
  • Complete the Race: Now through July 4 2020

*Note: Run more to earn more! Run a 5K and get your medal. Add a 10K and earn the shirt. Add a 15K and earn the hat. Submit results via email to receive extra swag.

2 Upland Manor Virtual 5K Run/Walk Challenge

  • Cost: $25 + $2.50 SignUp Fee | Shipping Presumed Included
  • Swag: T-Shirt*, Medal
  • Registration Price Increase: June 30
  • Complete the Race: July 1 - July 4 2020

*Note: Race information says it includes t-shirt and medal but no t-shirt size information was requested during registration. Register with caution.

3 Virtual Beer Mile for the Animals

  • Cost: $25 + $2.50 SignUp Fee | Shipping Included
  • Charity: CT Cat Connection and Protector of Animals
  • Swag: Medal
  • Registration Ends: June 30 2020
  • Complete the Race: Now through July 5 2020

*Note: Purchase alcohol separately and record your race with both GPS and photos after each beer lap. You can choose to drink alternative beverages for a lower cost.

4 Run 4 Rilla Virtual 5K

  • Cost: $30 + $2.50 SignUp Fee | Shipping Explicitly Included
  • Beneficiary: Personal Cancer Fund
  • Swag: Medal, Bag, Bracelet, Shirt or Tank
  • Registration Ends: July 8 2020
  • Complete the Race: July 1 -8 2020

5 WW Military Miles Virtual 5k, 10k and Half Marathon

  • Cost: $40 + $3.90 SignUp Fee | Shipping Presumed Included
  • Swag: Medal, Shirt, Socks
  • Registration Ends: ?
  • Complete the Race: Before the original race day, July 26 2020

6 Virtual Brew Run

  • Cost: $29 +$2.99 SignUp Fee | Shipping Presumed Included
  • Charity: Flutie Foundation
  • Swag: T-Shirt, Pint Glass, Medal
  • Registration Ends: July 30 2020
  • Complete the Race: July 30 2020

7 Chesterfield Virtual Summer Run Challenge

  • Cost: $20 + $2.95 SignUp Fee | Shipping Presumed Included
  • Beneficiary: Chesterfield (MO) Parks, Recreation, and Arts Department
  • Swag: Shirt and Medal
  • Registration Ends: July 31 2020
  • Complete the Race: Now through July 31 2020

8 Spirit of America Virtual 5K, 10K, Half Marathon

  • Cost: $30 + $3.63 Processing Fee | Shipping Presumed Included
  • Swag: T-Shirt, Medal
  • Registration Ends: July 31 2020?
  • Complete the Race: July 31 2020?

9 Mid-Summer Classic Virtual Run

  • Cost: $28 | Shipping Explicitly Included
  • Charity: Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund
  • Swag: Medal, Hat
  • Registration Ends: July 31 2020
  • Complete the Race: July 1 -31 2020

10 Run for Caitlin Virtual 8K, 3K

  • Cost: $30 + $3.63 SignUp Fee | Shipping Presumed Included
  • Charity: Run for Caitlin Inc
  • Swag: Medal, T-Shirt*
  • Registration Ends: July 31 2020
  • Complete the Race: now through July 31 2020

*Note: Save $10 without optional t-shirt.

11 Run, White & Blue Virtual 5k

  • Cost: $30 + $3.50 SignUp Fee + $5 Shipping
  • Swag: T-Shirt & Medal
  • Registration Ends: July 4 2020
  • Complete the Race: July 4 - 31 2020

12 Race the River Virtual 10K or 5K

  • Cost: $25 + $2.50 SignUp Fee | Shipping Explicitly Included
  • Charity: The Epilepsy Association
  • Swag: Face Covering, Finisher Medal
  • Registration Ends: September 13, 2020
  • Complete the Race: Now through September 13, 2020

13 The Eastern Kentucky Virtual 5K

  • Cost: $25 + $2.50 SignUp Fee | Shipping Presumed Included
  • Swag: Face Mask*, Medal
  • Registration Ends: August 31 2020

*Note: Other race distances offer larger and more expensive medals. The marathon medal is INSANE! The face mask is optional and will save you $10 if you decline it.

14 Garfield Donut Run

  • Cost: $10 + $5.80 Shipping
  • Swag: Medal Only
  • Registration Ends: ?
  • Complete the Race: ?

15 Cabin Fever Race

  • Cost: $13.99 | Shipping Explicitly Included
  • Swag: Medal Only
  • Registration Ends: ?
  • Complete the Race: ?

Virtual Race Recap: Best Damn Race NOLA 5K

The Best Damn Race in New Orleans, originally scheduled for March 22, 2020, was one of many events that had to be cancelled due to Covid-19. Those who had registered for the physical event had the choice to defer or transfer to a future event, or run the virtual. After all those registrants were taken care of, the race director still had a lot of swag left over. I signed up and got myself an affordable virtual race with some nice swag.

Virtual Race Goal
I've been having a lot of aches and pains. I wasn't sure when I was going to run this. Memorial Day morning Arthur and I went for a walk in the neighborhood in a light rain. After our 3.6 mile walk, I thought I felt pretty good and the rain was nice, so I decided on the spot to knock out this virtual run, without a time goal in mind.

Race Day: May 25, 2020
It was about 81°F with an overcast sky that really opened up in the second half of my run.

Mile 1: 12:58
The light rain was nice. I went out too fast after the long warm-up walk.

Mile 2: 13:18
I had to walk a bit extra to catch my breath. At one point I thought about cutting off the run and heading home, especially after the rain picked up, but I reached a downhill stretch and found a second wind.

Mile 3+: 13:01, 1:02*
In this last mile I got completely soaked, with a heavy rain and lots of standing water on the sidewalks. It was fun and I was relieved I didn't get any blisters.

Swag
Oh, what nice swag! I got a cool cotton t-shirt, medal, physical bib, plus socks and a tote. The kind of good stuff for which BDR is known.

Recommendation
I've only run one BDR race before, Best Damn Race Orlando 2018 Half, and I had a pretty good time despite the amount of brick on the course. These races are known for their fun atmosphere, good spread and top swag, and for the sale blitz tiered pricing. I've already signed up for next year's BDR 2021 10K in Orlando. The swag for this made the virtual run fun.

Garmin GPS elapsed time: 40:19
Cost: $28.25

Report written June 1, 2020

Budget Virtual Races with Swag Late June 2020

Throughout the spring of 2020, many races were cancelled and postponed due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. Runners saw the rise in popularity of virtual races. 

Are you looking for your next virtual race? I found the following budget virtual races that offer different levels of swag. Most include a t-shirt or a medal and another item; some include both a t-shirt and a medal. These might have additional fees, like a sign-up platform fee or a shipping fee. They also have different requirements for submitting results and when you need to complete your run.

I'm not affiliated with any of these races and cannot vouch for their quality. Please check all available information before registering in case of errors in the list below. Also note that some of these races support charitable causes and will give you the option to add a donation to your low-cost registration.

The Beer Run Virtual Event
Cost: $24 + $2.50 SignUp Fee; includes shipping
Charity: American Red Cross
Swag: Beer Koozie, Medal
Note: Registration ends June 16

Independent Brewing Summer Solstice Virtual 5K
Cost: $25 + $2.50 SignUp Fee; no information about shipping
Swag: T-Shirt, Medal
Note: Registration ends June 19; run June 20-21

New River Gorge Virtual 10K
Cost: $25 + $3.75 SignUp Fee; no information about shipping
Beneficiary: "Funds raised will support free youth running programs in southern West Virginia"
Swag: T-Shirt, Participant Pin
Note: Registration ends June 20; run now through June 20

Father's Day Virtual 5K
Cost: $30; shipping presumed included
Swag: Tank or T-Shirt, Souvenir Beer Mug
Note: Registration ends June 21; run June 19-21

Fight Cancer 5K
Cost: $25; shipping presumed included
Swag: T-Shirt, Medal
Note: Registration ends June 21; run through June 21

Virtual Summer Sizzler 5K Run
Cost: $25 + $2.50 SignUp Fee; shipping presumed included
Beneficiary: Randolph WI School District Booster Club
Swag: T-Shirt, Finisher Water Bottle
Note: Registration ends June 21

America's Heroes Virtual 5K/10K/13.1
Cost: $25 + $3.25 SignUp Fee + $5 shipping
Beneficiary: Team RWB
Swag: T-Shirt, Medal
Note: Price increases after June 21

Marathon Mania Virtual Race 
Cost: $29.90 + $2.50 SignUp Fee; shipping included
Swag: Tech Hoodie, Finisher Medal
Note: Registration ends June 22

Virtual quaRUNtine 8 Mile
Cost: $25 + $2.50 SignUp Fee; shipping presumed included
Swag: T-Shirt, Medal
Note: Registration ends June 26

Raymond James ROYGBIV Virtual Run
Cost: $25; shipping included
Beneficiary: Metro Inclusive Health Center
Swag: T-Shirt, Medal
Note: Registration ends June 27; run by June 27

Race for American Warriors Virtual 5k
Cost: $25 + $2.99 SignUp Fee + $5 shipping
Swag: T-Shirt, Medal
Note: Registration ends June 27; run through June 30

Levi's Link Virtual Fun Run
Cost: $20 + $2.75 SignUp Fee; shipping presumed included
Beneficiary: The Levi's Link special needs program at McLaren Port Huron Hospital
Swag: T-Shirt (size no longer guaranteed), Medal
Note: Registration ends June 27

Homes and Hops Virtual 5K
Cost: $20 + $2.95 Sign Up Fee + $10 shipping
Swag: T-Shirt & Medal
Note: Registration ends June 27; run through June 28

Run For... Virtual Run
Cost: $25 + $2.50; shipping included
Beneficiary: Local (Gatesville TX) Heath Care Workers
Swag: Fandana (sounds like a buff?), Medal
Note: Registration ends June 28; run week of July 4

Get Lost 5k with Northwest PA K9 Search and Rescue
Cost: $27 + $2.50 SignUp Fee; shipping presumed included
Swag: T-Shirt, Medal
Note: Registration ends June 30; run through June 30

All-American Virtual 5K
Cost: $25; shipping presumed included
Swag: T-Shirt, Medal
Note: Registration ends June 30

Disaster Dash 5k Run & 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk
Cost: $25 + $2.50 SignUp Fee; no shipping information
Beneficiary: Jannette Jaco Memorial Endowment
Swag: T-Shirt, Medal
Note: Registration ends June 30

2020 CAMC Foundation Virtual Run For Your Life 5 Mile Run
Cost: $25; shipping presumed included
Swag: T-Shirt, Buff
Note: Registration ends June 30; run through June 30

Whiskey Run 5K
Cost: $25 + $5 shipping
Swag: Shirt, Medal, Whiskey Glass
Note: Registration ends June 30; run through June 30

Nurses Are Heroes 5k Virtual Run
Cost: $29 + $2.99 SignUp Fee; shipping included
Swag: T-Shirt, Medal
Note: Registration ends June 30; run through June 30

OASL Lead the Way Virtual 5k and 10k
Cost: $30 + $3.95 SignUp Fee; shipping included
Swag: T-Shirt & Medal
Note: Registration ends July 5; run through July 5

Virtual Wine Run
Cost: $29 + $2.99 SignUp Fee; shipping included
Swag: T-Shirt, Wine Glass, Finisher Medal
Note: Registration ends July 30

Run for the Dogs 5K Virtual Run
Cost: $25 + $2.99 SignUp Fee + $4.99 shipping fee
Swag: T-Shirt, Medal
Note: Registration ends July 30

Father's Day Virtual Run
Cost: $29 + $6 shipping
Swag: Singlet, Medallion