The Virtual Criss Cross Challenge was created by the Illinois Marathon. There were various options to register for. There was the west to east route, covering 224 miles. The North to South Route, covering 435 miles. The double route, going both directions for 659 miles. There was also a team option.
Participants had months to cover the distance, beginning on November 5th. When I registered the ending date was the beginning of May, with registration closing in April. While registration has closed, the ending date has been extended through June.
While I was feeling "over" virtual races, I thought hey why not have a place to log all my miles over a period of time. I chose to participate in the 659 mile distance.
The event was very straight forward and easy to participate. Through the website and Race Roster you simply just entered the date, time of day, miles and overall time. If you wanted you could also submit a photo. This system kept track of all the miles you logged, walking or running. This system also had a leaderboard so you could see how you stacked up against the competition and a map so you could see where you were on the route.
The event also had webinars and informational live sessions on their Facebook page. This information was sent via email, so you knew when they were.
Swag was different for each challenge distance. For the double I received a pullover, a facemask, a beanie hat, a challenge token coin and a sample Nuun tablet. It shipped at the end of January.
The other highlight of the event was the very detailed guidebooks. There was one for the west to east route and one for the north to south route. These included tidbits of information about every town you would virtually run through. This guidebook was very thorough, all the history and pertinent information. It makes you actually want to go see these places in person. The state of Illinois should be proud, these guides would be great to pick up at a rest stop.
The challenge for me went by quick. I easily hammered out the west to east route in the month of November. I was doing another challenge at the time, so I was double dipping. I think I was one of the first to finish this distance on the leaderboard. (The leaderboard doesn't account for those who log more than required miles, and puts them in first.)
Then with the brutal winter that would never go away, it took me a while to finish up the rest of the challenge with the north to south route. I did finish the entire challenge on March 22nd. I did not finish first in this one, but I do believe I was in the top 100. It's nice to have the virtual competition.
This was a nice virtual challenge that honors the intentions of the Illinois Marathons. It's a great event and I am happy to take part and support them. While it would be nice for the challenge to sync to my Garmin, I could back log miles at any given time.
Now, maybe it's time to road trip to the places I virtually ran.