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When we kicked off the 2020 event at the beginning of this year, never in a million years would we have guessed that the year would look like it did. So here we are, about to kick off 2021 in a completely new way for this event!
One aspect of planning that really impacts our decision with what direction to go in this year with Running of the Lights is its timeline. Running of Lights falls at the end of two large holidays so our timeline of planning has to factor in those interruptions and delays. When we look at the volume of participants this event brings in and current uncertainty with public health restrictions and considerations, we knew we wanted to create an experience we could commit to with certainty so everyone knows what to expect. And we are hopeful this will merely be a one-year tweak and we'll be running back through the lights next year!
So what will this year look like? This virtual experience will have two different types of options:
Option 1 - 5K or 1 mile virtual run/walk. If you join this option, it's a 1-day event. You will complete a 5K or 1 mile from wherever you choose ON NEW YEAR'S DAY. Results submission will only be open on Jan 1 starting at Midnight and you'll have the entire day to submit. We want you to still be able and encouraged to start the New Year off on a healthy note, thus the distance happens on the day! Participants will be able to download their bib and a finisher's certificate to have as a keepsake.
Option 2 - 31 Day Challenge. This option will allow you to log miles throughout the entire month of January. You can participate as individual or as a team. For individuals, you will accumulate your own miles walking or running and log them on the results page. You'll be able to check out the rankings among other individuals. For teams, your miles will add together and create a team accumulation of miles. You will be able to view Team Results and rankings by both individuals on the team and whole teams together. This is a fun way to have some accountability with friends/family and make it a little more interactive.
Challenge goals for Individuals and Teams are set at 31 miles a day - 1 mile per day throughout the month of January. For teams, it works out to 1 mile a day per member IF all members did equal miles which is not necessary. Members do NOT have to contribute in equal amounts and all categories will be able to accumulate over 31 miles. That's just the baseline goal. The rankings will be sorted based on miles accumulated. More miles, higher ranking.
Individual - 31 Miles
2-Person Team - 62 Miles
3-Person Team - 93 Miles
4-Person Team - 124 Miles
5-Person Team - 155 Miles
Individuals and teams will be able to collect trophies and badges throughout the challenge and even have their own virtual trophy case. More info on that coming soon!
And the swag?
All participants will receive a long-sleeve event tee and a finisher's medal. We will have a curbside packet pick up at Fleet Feet Sports in Winston-Salem where we'll have a mock finish line set up for photo ops. If aren't able to pick up your stuff in person then you can select the shipping add-on during registration and we'll mail it out to you.
*Keep in mind if you choose the swag-less option then you don't need to worry about collecting anything in person or via mail. You can download your bib and finisher's certificate (and collect badges and trophies) all online and just enjoy being a part of the online Running of the Lights community and supporting a great cause. You also are welcome to come out to the Finish Line Village at Fleet Feet for a finish line photo op.
How do results work?
For the 5K and 1 mile completed on New Year's Day, participants can submit results a few different ways. Which way you choose is completely up to you, based on which way you feel most comfortable with.
1. Using the RaceJoy App - if you do not run with a smart watch or GPS device, then this is a great way to track yourself. The app will track your distance and automatically submit your results once you have completed the distance. Participants will download RaceJoy from the app store and then search for Running of the Lights and follow the on-screen prompts to get set up. The advantage of the app is you do not have to know an exact route that equals the distance, as it will track the distance for you. You also don't need to submit anything because the results will automatically post to the results page.
2. Opt in for text results - when you register, you can opt in for texting which will allow you to submit your results via text. Instructions on the format of the text will be sent if you choose this route.
3. Directly through the website - this is very straightforward. From the webpage, you'll click on RESULTS - then Submit Virtual Results. Search your name and then follow the on-screen prompts to submit your time. If you do not want to submit a time but you want to acknowledge you DID IT! then you can simply mark the distance as completed and not put a time.
Once your results are submitted (no matter which way you choose to submit), you will be able to download a Finisher's Certificate as a keepsake.
For Challenge participants, you will click on RESULTS from the top menu bar, then click "Submit Virtual Results." Then you'll search your name and follow the on screen prompts to log your miles. You can also go directly to your profile and you will see an option to Submit Virtual Results next to the event. You can log miles multiple times a day, once a day, once a week, however you choose. You will have the entire month to accumulate miles.
If you have any questions about this race, click the button below.Questions?