Hello World. Thank you for coming to our website. A little bit about us and Virtual Run World. We are a family and we are runners. As a family, we have participated in various running events, from 5k to Ultras. The motto here is, better to run as a family than the, “Live Together, Die Alone” mentality. Of course, we run the risk of postumusly receiving the, “Darwin Award” presented with a video of us killing ourselves. This is the kind of thing that goes viral on Youtube. I imagine the video, set to music, would show us like a family of funny looking lemmings, running ourselves to death on a 50 mile ultra. They would read the Youtube comment section at our eulogy adding to additional humiliation. The good thing is we have never won an award. See how we turned that bus around.
Anyway, during these runs we have developed some opinions of what we like and don’t like about events. We do like a friendly running crowd, random strangers cheering us on, great aid stations with happy helpful volunteers and awesome tech shirts. Our favorite part, crossing the finish line to the cheers of even more strangers and receiving a big fat custom finishing medal. It makes you feel like a movie star.
What’s disappointing and very sad is receiving one of those cheap plastic stock medals after a long race that took months of training. We have talked with some runners that do not care about medals. Those are crazy people. Normal people love medals. Normal people take their medals to work to evoke the jealousy and gossip of co-workers. Medals are important to normal people. The only reason I am running (I am kinda normal) is for the medals, and yes, I also run so I can eat more chocolate. Let us also talk about the $70.00 that was shelled out for the average half marathon run. As Run Directors ourselves, we know that putting on a run is expensive. Medals are very expensive. However, I do not mind paying more money if I receive an awesome, custom designed (large or small) medal at the finish. We just paid $1,500.00 for the three of us to run the Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge. The Dopey Challenge is 4 runs in 4 consecutive days totaling 48.6 miles for some serious medals. We are happy to report that we lived through this Disney adventure and have earned 6 cool Disney medals! Yes, it’s all about the medals! Normal people, not crazy people, who sign up for a run/walk, also would like a nice gender specific tech shirt. Cotton t-shirts are so “2000 late.” I do not care if I have too many tech shirts in my drawer, give me the option to get one more – Thank you, Mr. Race Director.
In addition to being runners (actually my jogging style is more like a tortoise making its way through peanut butter) who like medals, we are all the Run Directors for Sage Rat Run. Terri and I are also Graphic Designers. We have combined all of these interests and created Virtual Run World to provide running motivation with bling. We offer virtual runs with the coolest medals that normal runners would love. We started as Run Directors in 2010 with our first ‘real’ event, Sage Rat Run, which has seen successful gradual growth with the help of wonderful volunteers and community support. We have raised and given over $10,000.00 to various charities and causes with Sage Rat Run. We hope Virtual Run World will compliment the growing of the Sage Rat Run event, making both as rewarding as possible.
Is Virtual Run World for you? Here is what we believe and here is what we wish to accomplish. We believe in helping people. All people. Virtual Run World is one of our efforts to help some of the people with motivation. That motivation includes the reward of a large medal to celebrate your accomplishments. I also need motivation. You motivate me with your success. I also need to be inspired. You inspire me with the blood, sweat and tears that went into your achievement, your smile and your hard earned medal. We believe in helping runners – fast runners, slow runners, heavy runners, skinny runners, long and short distance runners. We believe that if you run, you are a runner. We believe joggers are runners. We believe that If you walk or bike to your goals then you have the heart of a runner and therefore are a runner. We believe in running in a marathon, or a 5k, even if we are last. We believe life is a journey and there is no finish line. We believe in giving a little back to charity and a few causes that we believe in. We believe in stopping when we are done, not when we are tired.
Is Virtual Run World for you? If you are self-motivated and running is its own reward, then we are jealous, but Virtual Run World is probably not for you. I personally need goals and motivation. These goals and the reward of a big medal at the end of my accomplishment motivates me to put in the miles. We hope that our medals help you achieve your goals and motivate you to reach your amazing miles, whether its one mile or 10,000.
Some specialty medals that we produce are designed to raise money for a specific cause or charity where 100 percent of the proceeds are donated. We donate our design and labor for these specific causes and the medal will be labeled as such. For our other medal designs, we donate 10 percent of our profits to various charities and causes, which is 10 percent of our income. Virtual Run World and making art is our only job. We would love to donate a higher percentage to charity but we also have to pay the mortgage, the phone, the electric and still eat. In general, we do not name who we are donating to unless we are working directly with the charity. Why? Permission is required to post a charity name and logo on your website, which involves a lot of time and issues. We use Charity Navigator to help guide us on our donations and choose highly ranked charities. Virtual Run World is under Akins Group LLC, a Limited Liability Corporation. We have learned the hard way, from being real life run directors and virtual run directors, that producing runs with large unique medals is a hard way to raise money for charities. With that being said, as of the end of 2014, the Akins Group LLC has donated over $16,000.00 to various charities and organizations. If you believe that Virtual Run World is not giving enough money to charity, then please give your donations directly to the charity of your choice. We can only give what we can afford, which is 10 percent of our income. If we had more, we would give more. We are inspired to run and try to encourage others to move, walk, or run, so that is our business plan; to encourage others to get up and go which inspires others and ourselves to a happier, healthier life.
We have put in a lot of time, some pain and a lot of love into these medals, this website, as well as our runs. We hope that we can motivate you, as you inspire us. With that, we offer Virtual Run World events with custom designed large virtual run medals with dye sublimation lanyard, a customizable bib and a donation to charity.
We hope you will join us!
Thank You – Mike Akins