The Hogwarts Running Club is a charitable organization that hosts virtual races. Virtual races are race events hosted online that can be run anywhere in the world. There might be some requirements - such as providing proof of completion or running on a specific day - but generally they're pretty flexible. Some road races also have virtual options - the 5K I ran in December, the Christmas Story House 5K, offers virtual participation for people who can't travel to Cleveland to participate.
Participants pay to enter the HRC event - usually $25 - and are sent a medal after. Confirmation of completion/time/distance are not required, and participants can run, walk, or even divide the distance up over several days, making it possible for literally anyone of any fitness level to participate. And 70% of each entry fee is donated to a selected charity - the Mad Eye 5K was benefitting the Limbs for Life Foundation, an organization that donates prosthetics to people who cannot afford them.
I first learned about the HRC when Gladys tweeted about participating in 2016, though I did not "join" until HRC followed me on Twitter. As for joining, there's no application, no membership fee - it's just entering the races and joining Facebook/Charity Miles/Fitbit groups if you want to have an online social element. HRC uses the miles logged by each Hogwarts House group on Charity Miles to award the House Cup at the end of the year. Slytherin won in 2016... but Ravenclaw was the first to 100,000 miles in 2017, so watch out!
|My bib, even though I forgot to print it off and wear it :(|
|Sweaty post-run selfie!|
Unfortunately our weather has been back in the 20s and icy again, so I ran on my treadmill. I hate running on the treadmill - after about 10 minutes I get really bored, even if I'm watching an interesting show or listening to a great podcast. Also it's way too easy to quit and just turn the treadmill off. Even though I hadn't run in two months, this was more a test of mental endurance than physical.
I ended my 5K seven minutes slower than my personal best in December, four minutes slower than my November average. I had to take one walking break around the second mile, but that was more mental than physical - I had to slow down and psych myself back up to finish. For taking two months off, this is actually pretty great! I'm pretty proud of myself, even though I'm sore today.
I'm so glad I participated in this run. I would have felt so bad about myself if I hadn't run at all and it was the perfect source of motivation to get going again and show myself that I can still do this, and that I still enjoy it!