What: Nuun Year Dash 10k

When: third week of January

Host: FitFam a host of virtual races, sponsored by Nuun hydration

Race length: Participants can sign up for a 5k (3.1 miles) or 10k (6.2 miles)

The Nuun Year Dash shirt and medal.

Race swag: It depends on the package you purchase. Mine, which was the middle tier, included a bib, shirt and medal. The pricer packages included wrists bands with the Nuun logo and hats. You could also get just the medal and bib. Nuun ambassadors were able to apply for a discount on the race fee.

The event itself: This is a virtual race, you sign up for a distance and run it wherever you want. FitFam has a website and Facebook page for the event. After you finish your race, you can log into the website to enter your race time. It asks for verification, such as giving FitFam a link to your Strava or Garmin site that logged your run. You can also enter the photo contest by posting pictures on the Facebook page, which is hosted by FitFam.

My bib for the race.

My race: I signed up for the 10k, with plans to use it as my last long run before competing in February in the Krispy Kreme Challenge.

My main goal was to used this as a timed race, just so I could see how my mile-splits are. The KK Challenge has a one-hour time limit for the category I signed up for and I wanted to make sure I could break that time limit.

My second goal was to have negative splits toward the end of the race. I know that if I can do negative splits during the 10k, pushing myself after eating a dozen doughnuts wouldn’t be as hard as I imagine it could be.

I attempted to run this race twice, but each time I had the cut the race short due to family obligations. So on a day my kids were in school (a miracle this month as they’ve been in school only four days due to snow), I packed my SPIbelt and headed out for a third attempt.

It was sooo foggy.

It was supposed to be another cold day, as snow was forecast to fall that evening. I warmed up quickly though, and had issues with shedding my layers of clothing. I had put a water bottle in my sweatshirt pocket and carrying it around my waist or in my hand was going to be a pain in the butt. So I just rolled up my sleeves as best I could and went on my course.

It was foggy too, so I wore reflective gear. My course is a five-mile loop with detours leading to the river near my home. It was a little shy of five miles, so I added another part of a road on the way back. It added to my course length a little, but I still had to do the last .3 miles by doing laps around my yard.

My mile splits courtesy of Milestone Pod.

According to my Milestone Pod, my fastest miles were my second, fifth and six one, so I set out to do what I had plan to do in regards to negative splits. The clothing issues and water break slowed me down in mile 3-4. But these mile times don’t give me a lot of room for a lengthy stop at the doughnut-eating area.

This is, however, an improvement over past virtual races. I averaged around 13-minute miles for the one in October. I’m hoping that come race day, I’ll be stoked enough by what’s going on that I’ll be faster on the course.

I entered my time with FitFam so now I just wait to see if I won anything in my age group or anything else.

This Nuun Year Dash as a great motivator and benchmark test for my upcoming race.

What are your thought on virtual races? I’d love to hear from you either in the comments or via email.