How to create a community fitness challenge on a custom virtual race route

Even as progressive companies focus on promoting employee fitness to fight diabetes, obsesity and hypertension, a few cities and regions are thinking bigger. They hope that by creating community-wide programs, they’ll achieve broader, more lasting changes in community health.

Research shows that people rarely make health and fitness decisions in isolation. Instead, we compare ourselves to family, colleagues and friends. Their habits shape our expections. Their averages become our benchmarks. For better or worse, we often move as a herd.

Racery’s platform is designed to leverage this communal momentum by creating compelling, easy-to-administer community-wide fitness challenges. Everyone’s activities get translated into miles on a virtual race route, which makes progress both tangible and public. It’s like one giant fun run… but for a month or even a year rather than a single afternoon.

Here’s what makes a Racery virtual fitness challenge so powerful AND easy to impliment:

  • A virtual race that lasts one month or more creates new, sticky social habits — lunch-time walking groups, , new friends at Crossfit, bulletin board notes about car pooling to races, conversations about running shoes, parking at the far end the grocery store lot.
  • A custom virtual race route that hits local or regional landmarks often creates an emotional connection for community members.
  • Racery’s “uniteam” concept rolls everyone’s miles into one total, which increases participants’ sense that everyone is “in it together.” (At the same time, leaderboards for individuals can give subtle competitive nudge that motivates people.)
  • We allow a racer can participate as a member of a team with a fixed number of entrants (for example one company or organization’s staff) AND as a member of multiple groups, for example #trailrunners, #smithfamily, #beerdrinkers, #nurses, #StMatthews and/or #weekendwarriors.
  • Communities can set their own rules about what counts as exercise. While some of our virtual races are ‘running miles only,’ some race organizers prefer more inclusive guidelines, leting participants take credit for activity ranging from wheelchairing to swimming to yoga to lawn mowing.
  • Nobody needs to buy a new device — Fitbit or Garmin or advanced mobile phone — to participate in a Racery event. We rely on the honor system and miles or activities can be entered via e-mail, a web page or an app.
  • Individuals can pay for themselves; companies/sponsors can purchase bulk coupons for their employees; one agency can subsidize or cover everyone’s entry fee.
  • Our events are designed to create waves in social media, providing lots of ways participants can proudly share graphics of streetviews, leaderboards, and achievement awards (26.2 in 5 days!).
  • Racery can help organizers create multiple collectible souvenirs — medals, e-postcards, bibs — that make the challenge even more meaningful for partipants.
  • Our team has done hundreds of group races, so we’ll be happy to advise on what works and what doesn’t work.
  • We know event organizers are super busy with other tasks, so we’re ready and willing to answer racers’ technical and athletic questions. Leveraging our technology and expertise, Racery’s community partners just need to do what they do well — communicate effectively with local press and social media mavens and create buzz with local influencers in business and other organizations.
  • We know how to create graphic-rich reports about everyone’s progress that please event managers… and their bosses!

Want to learn more? Here’s some reading for you!

  1. Read what participants say a multi-company virtual race did for their health and well being.
  2. Look at some exciting potential virtual race routes.
  3. Set up a 7 day free test virtual race — takes just a couple of minutes!
  4. Read why it’s bad to try to pay people to get fit. 
  5. Consult with our virtual racing gurus by filling out this custom virtual race sponsorship form.