Virtual Race Report – 465 Virtual Challenge

The little car moves along the course!

While I’m not usually a big fan of virtual races, when the opportunity to run the 465 Challenge came up with BibRave, I said yes. I needed something to help me kick off the new year right, and I liked the idea of taking on a new challenge.

The 465 Challenge is a brand new virtual race, running you in a loop around Highway 465, which circles Indianapolis for a total of 53 miles. The goal was to complete 53 miles between January 1 and February 29 in whatever way possible. I decided that I was only going to count run miles, but you could count run, bike, swim, walk, whatever you wanted. That’s the fun of a virtual race.

You also had the option to do the 465 miles in the first 24 hours, getting your name on the 24 hour club list, or you could aim for multiple loops, putting you in the Looper Club. While I used to be in shape to run 50+ mile months, I’m just not there right now. So I was just looking to run a total of 53 miles. (Should be easy, right? Not during cold and flu season!)

One thing I LOVED about this race was the race emails. Every week, they sent a motivational email that included where you would be on the loop if you were doing your 53 miles at an even clip (.88 miles a day). Of course, they were sure to remind you multiple times that you should not, no do not, never ever go run on 465. That always made me laugh, and yet you know there was probably that one person…

For example, here is a bit from week 3:

Piping along the west side of Indianapolis amps you up for the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing!”!  The West side of Indianapolis houses the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home to the Indianapolis 500, NASCAR Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard, INDYCAR: GMR Grand Prix, and the MOTOAMERICA: Superbikes at the Brickyard!  Just the thought of those high speed engines has us picking up our pace! 

I really enjoyed learning about the area as I “ran” around the loop. There was also a Facebook group for this challenge, which was equally fun. There were a lot of people taking on this challenge as a way to kick off the new year, and for some, kicking off a new healthy routine. It was great to get to cheer on new runners and walkers.

The race swag is pretty sweet. It arrived just as I was finishing my 53rd mile, and it’s super cute. The medal is adorable, and the car slides around the course, which I love. They billed the t-shirt as super soft, and it definitely is. It’s one of the nicer race shirts I’ve received in a while. It also came with a bumper sticker, and while my car remains sticker free right now, I do have a fun collection of stickers on my bulletin board at work, and this one will fit right in.

While I don’t do a lot of virtual races, this one made me see why some people love them, especially the ones with an attached community. It was a lot of fun to get to talk with other runners, especially newer runners. It was good to challenge myself and make myself get back on the treadmill, no matter how much I didn’t want to. And it was fun to start the year on a positive note. So I think this one might just stay on my list for next year. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

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