tl;dr version: Virtual Strides now offers optional custom premium printed bibs. Yay!
Full version: Long ago, we made the decision to not include printed bibs with our virtual race registrations. There were a number of reasons for this:
- Surveys we conducted early on indicated that most participants didn’t care about receiving printed bibs.
- Printing and mailing bibs costs money and would therefore increase the price of our events (or reduce our charity donations). Boo!
- We built our registration system to create custom digital bibs that display your name and distance. Participants who like having physical bibs indicated they would rather us offer these custom digital bibs they could print themselves instantly over generic bibs we would mail them later.
In order for us to mail custom, professionally-printed bibs (the best of all worlds), they would need to be printed all at once after we collected everyone’s names/distances/numbers for each event – in other words, some time after the end of each event, after everyone had registered. Doing this would either require separate bib shipping long after we sent medals out to participants or it would mean we would have to delay shipping medals until the bibs were printed, neither of which is a great option. And anyone who registered after the end of the original race period would be out of luck.
Given all of that, we made the decision to keep prices low, reduce waste, and offer only custom digital bibs to our participants. This was the best solution for the vast majority of our participants, but we understand that many of you like to keep REAL bibs for each of your races, and it’s always bothered us that we couldn’t provide them to you.
After countless hours of testing printers, paper, cutting processes, and so on, we are happy to announce that we have finally come up with the ideal solution for everyone! We now have the ability to offer custom premium printed bibs for those of you who want them, with no waiting! Printed Bibs are an optional add-on during the registration process, meaning you don’t have to pay for them if you don’t want to, but for those of you who want a real, custom bib for each of your virtual races, you can now add them to your order for only $5 each, including shipping!
You can even order printed copies of any of your past virtual race bibs from our Printed Bibs page.
Bibs are printed on special high-quality paper that is both tear and water resistant. You can literally run your bib under water and rub it, and the ink won’t run. The special secret-sauce paper we are using isn’t Tyvek, but in our opinion, it looks and feels even better. You can wear this bib when you run without worrying about it tearing or bleeding, and you can display it along with bibs from your physical races, knowing it will measure up in terms of quality. Satisfaction guaranteed!
We are really excited to offer this new feature for those of you who have always wanted it. As always, thank you for supporting Virtual Strides!