From participating in various Racery virtual races myself over the last couple of years, I already know that these races can get in your head. In fact, as I write this post, I’m on day 46 of a streak, by far the longest day-to-day string of runs in my life.
As the testimonials on Racery’s front page attest, our multi-day races nudge you out of bed each morning with the knowledge that other racers are watching your miles accumulate and plotting their own mileage for the day/week. Being part of the virtual race community gets you out the door a little faster and entices you to go farther — sometimes a little, sometimes a lot — than you’d originally planned.
That’s what all of us working at Racery subjectively know and experience every day. But we’re obviously biased, so it was really exciting last week to survey some racers and get their views. We surveyed 150 racers in the Triangle Tech Challenge, a race of 43 teams from North Carolina tech companies, and, according to the 52 who responded, Racery’s impacts are broader and deeper than we’d guessed.
The results are exciting at two levels, the individual and the social.
First, there’s the broad positive effect of Racery on individual bodies and minds. “Motivation” is already the word we hear regularly from racers talking about Racery, and it’s fascinating to see that fully 2 of 3 racers say Racery boosts their motivation and that more than half exercise more regularly because of the race. And though the proportion is smaller, it’s gratifying to discover that 22% of racers feel more energized because of the race.
That’s all good news, but we’re even more excited by Racery’s effect on the racer’s social network. It turns out that our racers are talking with colleagues and family members about the race. And nearly 2 in 3 racers feels more connected to colleagues who are racing.
These social effects are particularly important because a) health science increasingly indicates that the attitudes and decisions of a person’s social network significantly shape the individual’s health and b) few wellness programs currently move the needle at the level of a company’s overall culture.
While we don’t yet have the hard data to prove this, we have to believe that as racers talk about the race day-after-day with colleagues, friends and family, the culture that surrounds and shapes them all is gradually being rewired. Rewired not just to focus on fitness, but to enhance the concomitant psychological and cultural traits that contribute to an active, exciting life — action, motivation, intentionality, accountability, and teamwork. We’ll have to dig into that in future surveys!
[Invite your friends and colleagues to join a virtual race, whether between individuals or teams, using Racery.]