Virtual Race To The Stones

Over the last few months we have all struggled with a loss of motivation. So when I saw the #VRTTS virtual race to the stones 100k I knew this was a challenge I wanted to be part of. I usually spend my weekends pacing events around the world, so with all the marathon cancellations that motivation has been lacking. I have started to think about why I run, and encourage everyone to “Run for the Love of Running“. Without the events as a goal I have been considering challenges, and what better than a 100k week long challenge. Something I know I can do, but the motivation to keep going.

Let the warm up begin

I decided to spread the event over the week with a 10.5k commute to work, then another 10.5k run home. I began day one with a little bit of a warm up, to try and mirror the start zone of the usual event. This time I did not have any runners with me, instead my boy and a pup trying to attack us.

61 miles into Race to the Stones

I have ran 5 Ultra marathons over the last few years. Usually I do one 100k a year, but I didn’t in 2018 as the events clashes with an otherwise busy schedule. In 2017 I took part in Race to the Stones (BLOG), and in 2019 I took part in Race To The Tower (BLOG).

Flying at Race To The Tower

Running over the course of a week reminds me a lot of the atmosphere you can expect from an ultra like RTTS. It’s not all about the speed, it’s ok to walk a bit (or a lot), it’s ok to stop, and it’s ok to break it up. The point is just you against the distance, and keeping on going until you finish.

A typical friendly check point

I always love the social element which is limited with events cancelled. However, it has been great supporting over runners virtually, and I’ve got to engage with lots of people taking on a half, full or 100k distance over the week.

Rest Day

I have personally been struggling with some niggles, so I have taken it easy. I haven’t ran for a month before this event because I’ve been resting, and I am feeling better, but I need to rest some more.

Customary jump during my ultra

After running 21k a day for 4 days I took Friday off, leaving 16k for Saturday to compete my challenge. I decided to make sure I did a little jump during the final day as I have with every other Ultra. It is sad I cannot run #RTTS this year, as I was planning on running this or Race to the King. But it is lovely that I was able to complete this virtual challenge.

Challenge complete

Have you been doing this challenge or have you set yourself some other challenges? Let me know how you go on???

11 thoughts on “Virtual Race To The Stones

  1. Well done Paul. It is interesting how a virtual event can act as motivation, especially with the support etc on social media. The 100km challenged me to run further in the week than normal. In fact I’ve run my longest distance in a week as a result. I was down to run RTTS this year to hit my 1st 100km run but that can wait. I planned my 100km over 3 runs so it would have the feel of an ultra. And in each run I pushed myself on to add a margin. I started with a 44km run, a mid week 24km run and today ended with another 44km. And the hills came in at over 2000m of climbing. Not sure what was virtual about any of this running. Felt real enough to me! Rest easy, stay safe, have fun!

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    1. This is so awesome well done… yes I am not usually one to do virtual runs, but in the absence of events it is great to get that motivation. All the social media support has been fantastic… what’s next for you???


      1. I’m attending a days running with Adharanand Finn in September on Dartmoor. Otherwise I’m left to my own devices to find some new routes. Do you have anything else planned?


  2. Well done, that’s brilliant! And I love your jumps. I decided not to do this one myself, as a) I did RTTS Day 2 last year and that was my last race and b) I didn’t think I could do a marathon week this week. But today I did a virtual Chocolate 10k in aid of our local hospice, I’ve submitted my records and made a donation and will have a chocolate-themed medal in the post, so that felt nice. I’m doing Ben the 401 runner’s US challenge but although you get to see yourself on a map and drop into Google Street View it’s also a bit of a downer in a way as I won’t get far. So I’ve signed up for a virtual LeJog challenge which is 874 miles in a year, which I know I can do, and I’m also going to do a marathon in a week in September for an Everest Marathon thing I’ve found, which is raising money for villages in Nepal affected by the lack of climbers in the area. So sticking mainly to charity ones and I loved doing the Sarehole Mill one last weekend (blogged about it in my return to run blogging post).


  3. I have been looking for a virtual race. Right now the thing that has kept me motivated is following a pre made training plan. I have not done any running “workouts” in years so it was a good switch from just running to having different goals for each run.


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