Disclaimer: I received a virtual entry for the Lincoln Park, Run for the Zoo to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I will start off with saying, I put a lot of work into this run.

I took this virtual run more seriously than any I have participated in the past. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t set up a finish chute or start line…although I did consider staging water strategically on my route; but in past experiences, I would go to the rail trail, run for the distance, and call it a day.

What made this experience more enjoyable was 2 things.

  1. I created a route for this specific run. I rant three or four times in different configurations and different distances to get to the correct distance. When I finally got the right distance, I ran that route three or four times to ensure that it was safe, well lit, the correct distance…
  2. I had other people running at the same times as me.

While the latter didn’t happen like I planned; it was fun trying to coordinate the run. It was also really nice that I didn’t have to be a the ‘start line’ at a certain time.

What I liked:

Through my participation, I have helped Lincoln Park Zoo further theirstate-of-the-art animal care programs and worldwide conservation initiatives. It may seem like a small thing in this bizzare climate of emotional, viral and environmental turmoil; but it was a way for me to feel good about my choice to partner with a race.

It was a race. There are rankings and awards and a way to load your activity with GPS tracking! Unlike a lot of virtual races and challenges where the honor system is used the Zoo, In partnership with Race Roster and the Runkeeper app, allowed me to track my run and have it instantly verified for easy submission to the official results page!
There was even an email titled, “Lincoln Park Zoo Run for the Zoo Virtual Run – ASIC Runkeeper App” I received after I registered which I could refer to for simple, step-by-step instructions as well as a unique link and confirmation code tied to my personal registration.

That, I think, was a game changer for recreational runners. While I don’t use Runkeeper I thought that was a really convenient option!

There was ample communication from the race; but it wasn’t over-kill.

There was a ‘virtual’ goodie bag, just like you get if you sign up for a real race, which was completely unexpected.

And, like I mentioned earlier. I can run at my own convenience. I have a deadline to submit result; but I can run at midnight on my lunch break if I want!

I don’t think there was anything I didn’t like. It didn’t feel like this was the first go-around at a virtual race. I was pleasantly surprised that I felt as engaged with the race as I was, and that I took it seriously; but I feel that I took it as seriously as the race staff did, which tells me a lot as a consumer of experiences…

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