What is the Virtual Brooklyn Mile?

The mile is the most accessible racing distance. Now it is accessible to anyone, anywhere.

In partnership with VDOT O2, we are leveling the Brooklyn Mile playing field. Participants of all ages (13+) are enabled to compete against one another and ranked according to their VDOT score.

The cash prize purse is allocated on an age-graded results basis.

We are nothing but a pass-through: 80% of total registration proceeds will be donated to NYC’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. The remaining 20% of total registration proceeds will go into a prize money pot for award winners.

This race concept is circular crowdfunding: the more who run, the more we donate, the larger the prize purse. The larger the prize purse, the more who will run and the more we will donate!

What is a VDOT score?

VDOT was developed by Dr. Jack Daniels, Ph.D., world renowned running coach and exercise physiologist. It is a widely accepted measure of your current fitness. The way it works: the faster the race time, the higher the fitness level, the higher the VDOT score.

Who is the sole beneficiary of the 2020 Virtual Brooklyn Mile?

NYC’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, which provides resources and support to health care workers, local businesses, displaced hourly workers, families, youth, and vulnerable New Yorkers experiencing the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19.

Can I donate to the charity even though I am not participating in the race?

Of course! You can do so through our DonorBox Campaign.

How do I participate?

  • Register here
  • Log in to (or set up) your free VDOT O2 account
  • Proceed through the checkout process
  • Submit your VDOT profile
  • Schedule the Virtual Brooklyn Mile on your calendar for either June 19, June 20 or June 21
  • Sync your GPS to VDOT O2 via Garmin or Strava
  • Save/submit your official mile time on race day in your VDOT calendar

How are results calculated?

  • Participant results will be presented in order of VDOT score (actual recorded mile times will also be presented)
  • Unofficial rolling race results will be published live starting Friday morning, June 19 at 7am EST, and will close on Sunday evening, June 21 at 9pm EST
  • Official race results will be verified and published on Monday, June 22

What are the rules?

  • Running results must have GPS data synced via Garmin or Strava
  • Results must ALSO be saved to your calendar by Sunday, June 21 at 9PM EST
  • Race submissions without supporting GPS data synced via Garmin or Strava will not be eligible for awards
  • Race efforts on courses with a negative net elevation loss > 1% will be disqualified
  • Participants must be 13 or older to register a VDOT account
  • Obey all local municipal traffic laws
  • Always consult with a medical professional prior to undertaking intense physical exercise
  • Focus on your surroundings and not your device/tracker
  • Be a good global citizen: strictly adhere to any applicable social distancing requirements that may be in effect in your local jurisdiction at the time of this event’s running
  • Race management reserves the right to 1) seek further verification and substantiation of any submitted result, and 2) request supporting evidence of any participant’s identification including additional government (photo) ID. In either instance, if the participant does not comply or provide deemed adequate supporting information, race management can disqualify participants at their discretion.
  • Concerned about not being able to verify your race effort? Have someone record it on video!

How will the prize money be calculated and awarded?

  • 20% of total registration fees processed will go into the prize money pot
  • Prize money will be awarded based upon VDOT Level, which is an age grading of your race effort’s VDOT score
  • Only those recording a VDOT Level 10, 9 or 8 performance will be eligible to receive a cash prize
  • All participants who record a VDOT Level 10 performance will share equally in 25% of the total prize purse (i.e total Level 10 prize purse of $7,500 if we get 10,000 registrants!)
  • All participants who record a VDOT Level 9 performance will share equally in 30% of the total prize purse
  • All participants who record a VDOT Level 8 performance will share equally in 45% of the total prize purse
  • If no one records a Level 10, this cash purse pot will be allocated evenly amongst Level 9 and Level 8 performers
  • If no one records a Level 10 or Level 9, these two cash purse pots will be allocated evenly amongst all Level 8 performers
  • Official race results will be verified and published on Monday, June 22
  • What does it take to run a VDOT Level 10, Level 9 or Level 8 performance? You can view those age-graded timetables for men and women here.

Can kids under 13 run?

  • Yes!
  • While prohibited from registering an individual VDOT account online, kids 12 and under are still welcome to participate in the Virtual Brooklyn Mile Kids Run
  • The Kids Run is free
  • Parents or guardians should simultaneously register and submit race results only AFTER their minor’s race performance has been completed, and using this form.

What do I get for my $15 registration fee? A race tee? A medal?!

Radical moments call for radical thinking. So no, there will be no race tees nor medals. All race registration proceeds will go to either the event’s sole beneficiary (80%) or to the eligible cash prize winners (20%).

Are there age group awards?

Our primary focus this year is fundraising and developing a unique virtual race experience. However, NYC’s only running specialty shop, Brooklyn Running Co. has generously offered gift cards to the top three male and female finishers in each age group category. You can preview their goods here.

What if I run my race at altitude?

Race efforts run at greater than 3,500 feet (1,066.8m) of altitude are eligible to be converted to a sea-level equivalent time. This must be done by the participant before the race result is saved in your VDOT calendar. This converted time will then be your official result and thus eligible for awards. Your GPS sync will corroborate the location. The conversion table to be used is based upon the individual user’s current VDOT score and respective altitude levels. It can be found here.

Can I participate by running my virtual race on a treadmill?

Yes. However, because we cannot confirm GPS results from a treadmill effort, you will not be eligible for any awards.

Why is the 1% net elevation drop allowed?

We acknowledge that this 52.8 feet allowance is somewhat arbitrary and well in excess of IAAF guidelines. However, this is a virtual race and the 1% rule will allow runners some flexibility in choosing their race route. GPS elevation data is known to be inconsistent and therefore makes it hard to “police”. We are simply trying to apply some rigor to discourage participants from seeking to enhance their times by choosing routes that scream downhill (although it’s not easy to run those either!).

Can I run the race more than once?

Sure. As results will be published live and rolling from June 19-June 21, we expect this to occur (mostly by the young whippersnappers). However, please note that once you save your result to your VDOT calendar, it will become final and any subsequent race efforts will not be eligible for submission.