FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Everything you wanted to know about virtual running, but didn't know you could ask.

What is a ‘virtual’ run?

A virtual run, also known as a virtual race, is an event that can be run in any location, at any time, at any pace. You can walk, jog, or run; use the treadmill, hit the road, sidewalk, or trail; you can even participate in another “real-world” race. It’s completely up to you!

In effect, we’re all running together…while apart!

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I hear the term “virtual race” used sometimes. Is there a winner?

We prefer to call our virtual runs “events”, but occasionally the word “race” is used. In reality, all of our events are “fun runs”, so the only winner is you for getting out there and being active.

You don’t need to submit a time to get your medal. HRC does not require you to post “proof” of your run as we operate on the honor system. If you’re registered, you will get your medal; it’s up to you to complete the distance, when and how you are able.

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I’ve never run this event’s distance! Can I walk? Can I break it up?

Yes, and yes! You can run your race at your own pace, wherever and whenever you like. You can walk, skip, jog, run, dance…it’s your choice!

You can complete your distance at any time, in whatever way suits your ability and schedule. If the distance is longer than you feel you are capable of completing all at once, you can break up the distance over multiple runs.

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Do I have to run on a specific day?

For fun and enjoyment, we sometimes encourage members to complete their distance on a specific day to celebrate a particular event, or mark a special anniversary from the Wizarding World (as in a certain birthday on July 31st). That said, you can complete your run/walk anytime you want.

While event registrations are only open for a limited time, you don’t have to complete the distance during that period. We understand, lives are unpredictable! You’ll get there, and hang that medal with pride once you’ve done it.

Injured? Please wait until you’re healthy! If you’ve registered, you will receive your medal just the same. Complete the distance when you are safely able to do so.

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How do I register for a virtual run?

You can register for an event by using any of the “register” links on this website, or use the “sign up” button on our various social media profiles. These will take you to Events.com, which is the platform we use to coordinate all of our race registrations.

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What does a registration cost, and what does it give me?

Each event registration costs $25 (with rare exceptions), and that includes your ‘magical’ custom finisher’s medal, neck ribbon, and a personalized, custom digital bib.

Proceeds from registrations go to that event’s charity partner, so you also get the satisfaction of knowing you’re doing #somuchgood for an important cause!

HRC is completely non-profit. At the moment, approximately 60¢ of every dollar goes to our charity partners. This is how we’ve been able to donate over $2,000,000 in our first three years!

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How long is registration open? How do I make sure I get a spot?

Registration for each event will be open for about a month, or until we’ve reached the announced registration limit.

We have sold out of a couple event medals in recent history. We do our best arithmancy to avoid this happening again, but as more people discover the joy of the HRC, the demand for medals will inevitably increase. The best strategy is to register the first week an event is open.

(See the section on the annual “Time Turner” to learn how to register for events you may have missed!)

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How do I get my digital bib?

About 24 to 48 hours after your registration, your custom digital bib will be available in our bib gallery. There you can search by your name or race number to find your bib. (The search function works best on desktop/laptop computers, so if you are using a tablet or smartphone, you may have some difficulties. If you can’t access your bib, just contact us, and we can email your bib to you directly.)

Note: In the first week of registration, bibs may take a bit longer, as we have an extremely large number of bibs to create. Please be patient!

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Can I participate if I live outside the United States?

Yes! We love our international witches and wizards! We will gladly ship our medals anywhere in the world! All we ask is $5 US to help defray the cost of international shipping. This doesn’t completely cover the cost, but it does help us maximize our contribution to our charity partners.

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Can I share my virtual run on social media?

Can you? Of course! We’d love you to share your accomplishments with the world!

We welcome everyone to post ‘selfies’ with their bibs, medals, or workout completion screenshots from your personal smartphone/smartwatch tracking app screens to social media. You can ‘tag’ us with the #hogwartsrunningclub hashtag, as well as the hashtags for the particular event you’re registered for. (For example, our recent Half-Giant Half Marathon was #halfgianthalfmarathon. Pretty simple, eh?)

If you post those pictures to the virtual run’s HRC-hosted Facebook event, you’ll likely get a wave of congratulations from any of the thousands of others who are running ‘with’ you. It’s a great way to celebrate your accomplishment, and interact with a fantastic online community!

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Can I register without using Events.com and avoid a processing fee?

Unfortunately, no. Events.com is the company we use to coordinate our race registrations. They have the capability to securely process your credit card payments, and collect all of the registration information we need to effectively manage all of the registrations for a particular event.

The processing fee that Events.com charges pays for their servers, secure credit card transactions, software, employees, etc. HRC does not have any control over those processing fees.

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If you are non-profit, is my registration tax-deductible?

A portion of your registration is, yes! You can deduct $21 out of your $25 registration.

Our IRS identification number (EIN) is 47-4958349, and the emailed receipt from your Events.com registration serves as your tax receipt, so make sure you hold on to it for tax purposes.

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How soon will I get my medal after registering?

It’s a lousy answer, but the answer is “it depends.” Typically, we order the medals about a week after registration opens, and the medals take 25-30 days for our manufacturer to produce them, clear customs, and have them shipped to us. Once the medals arrive, they have to be repackaged into individual packages, so our owls can deliver them to you. Given the huge number of medals to prepare, this can take a few days, but we do it as fast as possible without violating the reasonable restrictions on using magic outside of the castle.

To confuse muggles, we cast a unique spell on our owls to make them look like U.S. Postal Service workers. This spell has the added benefit of sending a digital ‘howler’ to your email inbox with tracking information so you can monitor our owl’s progress. Depending on your distance from Connecticut (where we are currently located), our owls can take anywhere from two days to around two weeks to arrive with your medal.

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I think the postal service lost my medal! Can you send me another one?

Your medal may not be lost! The reality is that the post office doesn’t always scan every package at every step in the process. So while the tracking information will show the package taking a really long time, it may have already arrived at your local post office. We’ve had several instances where a package magically “apparated” instantly from the sorting facility to someone’s mailbox on the other side of the country. The “standard” delivery time in the US varies from 2-7 business days, depending on your distance from Connecticut…and how far into the Dark Forest your house might be.

Additionally, it is your responsibility to make sure we have the correct address. Please double check your address when you register and let us know if there was a mistake. If you move after you register, you need to provide your new address, as the post office doesn’t typically forward packages.

Despite all our best efforts, sometimes medals are entrusted to that useless bird, Errol, and get completely lost. When that happens, we will replace the medal. Unfortunately, if the event is sold out, we will have to wait until we reorder the medals in October during the Time Turner event. Either way, we promise we’ll make it right.

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I missed out on an event! Can I still get a medal?

Yes! The ‘Time Turner’ event is held in October, and will have unlimited registrations for all of this year’s medals.

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What is the ‘Time Turner’ event? Is there a medal for that?

The Time Turner is not a virtual run, and there is no medal. The Time Turner is our way of turning back the clock, and reopening registrations on all of the events for the year. It spans the month of October.

Once reopened, you can register for any events you may have missed, qualify for the Challenge medal, and even earn the coveted ‘Perfect Prefect’ pin. The registration for each event remains $25, and we won’t order the medals until the Time Turner registration closes…hence, registrations are unlimited during the Time Turner and will never sell out during the registration period!

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What is the Challenge Medal?

Each year we offer a seventh special Challenge Medal for the truly dedicated members of Hogwarts Running Club who register for at least three of the six events in a given year.

The Deathly Hallows Challenge Medal was offered in 2014, the Marauders Challenge Medal in 2015, the King’s Cross Challenge Medal in 2016, the Quidditch Challenge in 2017, and the Phoenix Challenge in 2018.  We guarantee it is something special, unlike any medal you have ever seen! The Challenge Medal is only available to those who register for at least three of the six events for that year. There is no distance associated with the Challenge Medal, so there is no running involved…just an incredible medal to celebrate a year of accomplishment.

The Challenge Medal is only available in a given year and will never be made available again, so make sure you get it while you can! (If you are joining late, we have a solution for that.) The registration for a Challenge Medal is $25, and the proceeds are distributed across all of the charity partners for the year. It’s one more chance to do #somuchgood for these great organizations!

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How do I become a Perfect Prefect?

Those who complete all six events during the year and purchase the year’s Challenge Medal will be named a “Perfect Prefect”, and receive a FREE Prefect Pin in appreciation for their incredible dedication to Hogwarts Running Club.

Additionally, those who are named as Perfect Prefects will be immortalized forever in our Hall of Fame here on our website!

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What is this “House Cup” I hear mentioned?

The annual House Cup competition is a critical part of the Hogwarts Running Club community. It strengthens the bonds of friendship within the Houses and motivates members to do even more #somuchgood through healthy and friendly competition with the other Houses.

Since its inception in 2015, the House Cup Competition has resulted in the donation of over 18,000 scarves and 82,000 pairs of socks for the homeless, support to countless animal shelters, 2.5 tons of coffee for the people of Puerto Rico, more than 25,000 items to help Syrian refugees, and over 1.7 million kids’ bandages to young ones fighting pediatric cancer. Members have also improved their own lives by logging over 7 million miles on the Charity Miles app.

Members elect to join one of the four HRC House “Common Room” closed groups on Facebook. Over the course of each year, points are awarded to the Houses for their involvement in our direct impact projects, major milestones tracked through Charity Miles, registrations for virtual run events, and other unexpected fun engagements.

Complete details on the 2018 House Cup Competition can be reviewed in this helpful document.

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I have a great idea for an event/medal! Can I make a suggestion?

Absolutely, we love your ideas! Will we make it happen? We’ll sure try!

We typically have each year’s events and medals prepared and slated in advance, but if your idea is unmatched in its awesomeness, we’ll gladly make room on the schedule. (In 2014, one of our members suggested a particularly themed race, and the “A Walk in the Moonlight 5k” became our third event of the year!) Send us the idea and let’s see what magic we can create!

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How do you select your charity partners? Can I recommend a charity?

No charity can contact us directly and become a charity partner. All charity partners must be nominated by a member. Charity nominations should be sent to support@hogwartsrunningclub.org. We are proud of the fact that the selection of each and every one of our charity partners began with an HRC member telling us about a charity they personally care about.

We are always looking for charity partners making a direct impact on their communities, and welcome any ideas you might have. Some charities are a great fit, but some are not. While large, well-known charities, like the American Red Cross and Susan G. Komen, are awesome and do incredible work, they have a well-established donation revenue stream. We prefer to focus on lesser-known charities where our contribution will have a dramatic impact on the #somuchgood they are doing.

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I have a fundraising campaign for a family member who is needs financial help. Can HRC contribute?

Unfortunately, we can’t. While we completely sympathize with the myriad of struggles so many are facing these days, we cannot contribute to these individual campaigns as our funds are specifically earmarked for our charity partners who are counting on our support.

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I have an awesome themed product that I sell. Can HRC help promote my product?

Sorry, no. We cannot promote, endorse, advocate for, or advertise items that we are not directly involved in producing, or that are not directly supporting our charity partners.

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We’re putting on a virtual race/real-world race. Will you tell all your runners about it?

Typically, this answer is going to be “no”, unless your event is directly supporting one of our established charity partners. If you would like to propose a future partnership, please contact us.

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