Virtual Boston Marathon 2020

With all that is going on in this world, not being able to run races IRL is nothing to complain about.

All of us are seeking some normalcy in our lives and running with people gives runners that feeling. There is peace in idle chit chat while running down the street.

Like most races, The Boston Marathon turned into the Virtual Boston Marathon 2020.

Any runner who had a Boston Marathon bib could participate in the Virtual Boston Marathon 2020.

The Melrose Running Club had six runners with a bib who decided to run the Virtual Boston Marathon 2020.

They started training in January like any other year and then hoped the race would not be cancelled.

Then the race was postponed and turned into a virtual race for the first time in Boston Marathon history.

While the club suspended Sunday Long Runs, they continued to organize Sunday Long Runs and other training runs to prepare for their race.

I didn’t have a bib for the 2020 Marathon, so I ran as a bandit for the first time! I also did not train to run a marathon.

It Takes a Village

Starting at Mile 2, The Boston Marathon has water stops at every mile. This year the crew had to arrange their own water stops and bathroom stops.

Maria Cavero was the team captain and master mind behind putting together the course.

Yvonne Liu-Constant put together the first draft of the course and then Maria found ways to avoid as many hills as possible!

Several miles had virtually no elevation gain and most had only 20-30 feet of elevation gain.

Together, Yvonne and Maria found people’s homes, parks and other spots where we could stop and re-charge.

Volunteers and Guardian Angels

The crew reached out for volunteers for the water stops and to provide on-course support.

They put together seven water stops and a crew of about twenty volunteers. On paper it was about twelve volunteers but many more turned out to help and provide support.

I think the volunteers were as excited to be there as the runners were!

Unlike Boston, we stopped at each water stop. There was no big clock on Boylston Street waiting for us. This year, everyone was just looking to run 26 miles and 385 yards.

It was very chill and less of a “dammed the torpedoes”  vibe.

For most of the run there were three guys on bikes riding with us. They were in helmets, sun glasses and masks so I’m not sure who they were!

These guardian angels rode with the last person on the team, took photos and stopped traffic for us!

These guys stood in the middle of Alewife Brook Parkway, aka Rt. 16, into Cambridge and stopped traffic!

With authority they turned their bikes sideways on the median strip, held up their hands and shook cow bells! Drivers actually stopped for them.

They did this countless times so that we could cross busy roads with minimal hindrance.

This bandit would like to thank everyone who took time out of their Saturday to come out and run a water stop or stand in the middle of a road for us.

Running the Virtual Boston Marathon 2020

I was going to go to the start of this run but upon reviewing the map, I realized they were passing within a half mile of my house. So why drive to Melrose?

Over the past few months my weekly miles have rarely hit twenty miles. I’m not qualified to run a 5K. Running more than a four mile training run takes an act of will power.

I didn’t plan on running 26 miles, 385 yards so I told them I would meet them on the corner down from my house.

I figured they were running 10 minute miles. I left my house at 7:20 and thought I’d meet some of them on the corner.

When I got to the corner of Spring and Central Streets I didn’t see anyone. I decided to run down to the first water stop.

No one was there, so I decided to run around the neighborhood to make up some miles and warm up a bit.

 

Virtual Boston Marathon 2020, Water Stop One, Medford I run in this area at least once a week, so I knew exactly where I was.

I ran from the water stop to The Fellsway, all the way back and up to Main Street. At Haynes Square I hit 2 miles.

I ran down Central Street to the water stop and in a few minutes Kristi and Bobby Taylor showed up. In no time they had everything set up and some of the cyclist began to show up.

It was great to catch up with Bobby and Kristi who have both started new jobs recently and have a new dog.

Boston Marathon Runners approaching Water Stop OneSoon we saw runners in the distance heading down Central Street towards us. This commonplace street corner began to feel exciting.

Some people came out of their houses to see what all the commotion was and everyone seemed happy to see us.

As everyone showed up we began to take over the intersection. Drivers were really good about waiting for people to step out of the way. And we tried to be good in keeping people out of traffic.

The runners had black and white bibs which did not stand out. The drivers had no idea that they were witnessing part of the 20020 Boston Marathon. These folks were decent to us just because that’s what people do.

Boston Marathon 2020, Water Stop One

After everyone was ready to go we headed down Park Street to Riverside and ran through Medford Square.

Medford Square is always busy and has six roads entering or exiting the square. A classic New England intersection.

I was running with Haecha Donnelly and one of our guardian angels helped us get through the square.

We ran up High Street and crossed The Mystic river on a little foot bridge that I’ve never been over.

Then we crossed Mystic Valley Parkway, another hairy crossing and headed towards Whole Foods to cross this road again into Arlington.

I started running with Jackie Ecker along The Parkway. As we crossed one of the streets a young women was clapping and cheering for us and Jackie took a spill!

She fell to the sidewalk in an a “Superman pose” with her hands up and to the sides. In that moment before she moved, I was worried.

I helped her up and she seemed fine. She had a cut on her knee, elbow and small cuts on her hands. She got up and kept on running. No big deal.

Everyone except her was worried.

We ran on a boardwalk next to the Alewife Brook. This was really cool and a place I’d never been to before. The brook was clear of brush and trash and the area looked to be set up as a flood plain.

Our next turn was a right onto Broadway in Arlington and to our second water stop.

Since I was a guest I only took water.

We headed back down Broadway and turned onto River Street towards Medford.

Another area had never run in. People were doing yoga in the park and enjoying the river.

Then we got to one of my favorite places to run in Medford.

Magical Mystic Valley Parkway

We crossed High Street and ran through the rotary onto Mystic Valley Parkway. Our guardian angel was able to stop the few cars in the rotary and we crossed safely.

As we ran down the Parkway we passed two groups of people who were waiting for their Boston Marathon runners to arrive!

It was like being in Framingham or Newton except we were in Medford. They all waved and cheered us on and it was fantastic.

The Parkway is shaded and cool as the sun began to beat down on us.

I hit mile 9 just before we turned off of The Parkway. While the pace was modest compared to how I would normally run a marathon, my total lack of training was beginning catch up to be.

When I’m training for a marathon The Parkway in one of my long run routes.

Magical Mystic Valley Run 2014.

The Second Half of My Run

We took a slightly different route through Winchester than my normal route. And it was nice to see something different.

As we passed people on the trail they waved and cheered us on. Most wore masks and I assume they were all smiling.

In Winchester we had water stop three on the lawn of a church. There were spouses and kids with signs. It was great to see all of their excitement.

Boston Marathon 2020, Wichester

At this stop I took a gel and a Nuun tablet for my water bottle.

After this stop we had the familiar slog up Washington Street. It’s not a bad hill, but it always comes half way or more into a run.

For me Washington Street was miles eleven and twelve to our next turn.

I had been feeling it for a few miles. I had the energy but my left knee had been acting up and now my hips were beginning to ache. The hips are a sure sign of lack of training and stretching.

When I signed up for this gig I planned to run 13.1 miles at the most. Now I was headed for 13 and we were miles from any end.

I began to think about catching a ride with someone at the next water stop.

For the past few miles I had been running with Jose Viveiros. He was training for a marathon in Jackson Hole, MT in three weeks. This was one of his taper runs!

Jose was feeling it too and we began to make plans to bail.

Heading for the End of The Road

I knew where we were but wasn’t sure how to connect the dot of where we wanted to go.

We were going to Maria’s house where Jose had his car. To make sure we didn’t end up running forty miles I fired up Google Maps for the win!

With verbal cues for each turn Jose and and I set out from the Winchester water stop and did the old walk/run routine.

We were both beat.

But as we went he kept telling me about Jackson Hole and another race out west.

He is working on running a marathon in all 50 states and now is a good time to do it. Airfare and hotels are fairly cheap. And getting a reservation is pretty easy.

He almost had me talked into it, but the last few  miles had a few hills that made it clear that I was not ready for a marathon in two weeks.

We ran the flats and down hills and walked the up hills. At this point it was about getting to the end for both of us.

As we crossed The Fellsway in Melrose neither of us had been to Maria’s house from this direction. I had never been there at all. Jose assured me that we were in the right neighborhood.

Then we finally turned the last corner and saw her house with 26.2 miles balloons and the chalk finish line.

There’s a picture of us crossing somewhere.

We hung out for a while and chatted with Jeanne and Lesley about the run.

My run came in at 16.05 miles at a pace of 12:49. That’s about 10 more miles than I ran in total the week before.

Definitely not in marathon shape!

Jose gave me a ride home and he headed off to Somerville to pick up some food for the after party.

Boston Marathon Finish line 2020
The Crew celebrating their Boston Marathon finish

As a bandit I didn’t want to crash their party. Plus I had to get to the Post Office.

It was great to run with a group of people. We all wore masks for most of the run and no one complained.

The few IRL (In Real Life)  races I have seen all allow runners to take off their masks once they are on the course.

Whenever we were near people it was “shields up!” But sometimes we pulled them down while running, and of course at water stops.

Over all I think we were pretty careful.

Congrats to the ladies for finishing the 124th Boston Marathon!

Run well my Friends,

Andy

New England Road Trip challenge

Get your mojo on the go! Try the New England Road Trip challenge series and compete with runners from all over New England and the world!

Is your running motivation in a funk? Lost your mojo?

Why not try the New England Road Trip challenge to get your rear in gear?

New England Road Trip Challenge

Bay State Race Services recently announced this new challenge which begins on August 10th. Registration is open now and will be until October 31st.

The sooner you sign up the sooner you can start logging your miles towards the challenge.

Take your pick of New England Road Trip Challenges from the 52 mile run from Boston to Providence or run the entire virtual road race circuit of 716 miles!

You can run virtual races and “double dip” or log your training miles. Submit your miles and watch your self move along your designated route.

This is a great way to challenge your self even if you don’t like running virtual races.

Virtual Races, New England Road Trip challenge

Pick one or several challenges or run them all!

Boston to Providence – 52 miles (~ 1.00 miles/day)  Finish by Sept. 30th

Concord to Boston – 68 miles (~ 1.30 miles/day)     Finish by Sept. 30th

Providence to Hartford – 76 miles (~ 1.46 miles/day) Finish by Sept. 30th

Augusta to Concord – 140 miles (~ 1.68 miles/day)  Finish by Oct. 31st

Montpelier to Augusta – 180 miles (~ 2.16 miles/day) Finish by Oct. 31st

Hartford to Montpelier – 200 miles (~ 2.4 miles/day) Finish by Oct. 31st

Tour of the Capitols – 716 miles (~ 4.97 miles/day)  Finish by December 31st.

Maine, vacation, runner

You are going to run a bunch of miles between now and the end of September, October or the end of the year.

Why not join the challenge and see who get’s there first!

Check out the challenge web site for complete details.

Run well my Friends!

Andy

 

Time for a Margarita Half Marathon

I definitely did not feel like having a margarita after this run. The heat really knocked the snot out of me and booze was the last thing I wanted.

The Margarita Half Marathon was originally scheduled for May 3rd in New Hampshire.

Due to COVID-19 the Margarita Half Marathon and 5K were turned into virtual races. I ran my half marathon on July 10th.

May is a great time to run a half marathon in New Hampshire, July is not such a great time to run a half marathon in the Greater Boston Area (GBA).

Running the Margarita Half Marathon 2020

This was my second half marathon in 14 days. On June 27th I ran The Great Bay Half which was postponed from April 5th to a virtual half.

I had Friday off and decided it would be a good day for a half. No matter how  unfit I was or how hot it was, I was going to do it.

At 8:56 AM I set off from Medford headed to somewhere in Cambridge. I had a general idea of where I was going. My sole criteria for a turn around point was the mile 6 mark.

It’s easier to add on distance on the way back. In May I ran a half and ended up walking almost a mile so I could stop my watch at 13.1 miles for my official distance.

Sometimes I learn from my mistakes.

Garmin lists the temperature at 73° F, but that must have been at 8:56 when I started my watch.

As I ran down my street I actually felt pretty good. And that’s unusual. Usually a knee or an ankle makes a few grumbles.

I should have recalled that when things start out well, they often do not end well.

The First Six Miles

I knew it was going to be warm, hot even. Over the past few months my training has been poor.

My only goal was to finish the race through an honest effort. There’s no cheating in virtual racing. At least not for me.

The first two miles got me to the Somerville side of the Mystic River bridge.

This segment, along the Fellsway, was mostly in full sun.

Margarita Half Marathon, virtual halfAfter the bridge I took a right onto Shore Drive towards Blessing of The Bay Boat House. They had the crew of summer work kids out front for their morning brief.

I was glad to see that at least some kids were getting the opportunity to earn a few dollars and learn how to work this summer.

I went under the Rt. 93 bridge and headed south on Mystic Ave/Rt. 38. The on-coming traffic kept me very focused as the sidewalk is narrow here and folks like to fly down this road.

I found a break in traffic and crossed Mystic Ave to run the back side of Foss Park. The pool was full, but the facility was closed.

I chose this route for a little shade.

To avoid the bridge over the rail tracks I went down Broadway to Cross Street and ran through East Somerville up to Washington Street.

I hit Mile 4 just before I crossed The McGrath Highway and headed for East Cambridge.

Eventually I ended up in Kendall Square and headed down Broadway to find my turn around spot.

Margarita Half 2020, Kendall Square
Broadway in Kendall Square

On my way down Broadway I passed a Starbucks. I wasn’t at mile 6 yet but one water bottle was almost empty and I wasn’t even half way yet.

I ordered a Trenta iced coffee on my phone and turned back to Starbucks.

As I approached the door I stopped my Garmin and then stepped into the dark coolness. My drink was being made as I approached the counter, so I only had a minute or so to cool off.

I grabbed a straw and stepped back into the heat.

The Long Road Home

I was now on my way home and short on distance. My watch hit mile six as I walked down Broadway drinking my coffee. Man it was good!

I took a leisurely jog back through Kendall and The Canal District down to Lechemere Station.

My shorts were so wet from sweat and water dripping off of my coffee that for a moment I thought I had a problem!

When it’s  hot and you are sweating, that is a good thing.

I found a trash can on Cambridge Street and tossed in my empty cup. It only took about a mile and 12 minutes to drink the entire cup. And all of the ice had melted.

I pretty much took the same route back to Washington Street and then took a left into the neighborhood.

At this point my quads were exhausted and I was beginning to feel altered.

I checked my running belt for a salt pill, but I didn’t have one. That was a crucial error on a day like this.

My sports drink had some sodium, but I was dripping sweat.

I got back onto Broadway and ran the same route back to Blessing of the Bay Boat House.

Fortunately they had a porta-potty on the grass next to their parking lot.

It was like an oven in there,  but I meant business!

I continued on the bike path next to Rt. 93 and headed for Medford.

I didn’t hit mile 11 until I had crossed The Mystic Valley Parkway and was less than a mile from home.

At this point I was doing a fair amount of walking and experiencing the worse part of what I had anticipated.

Virtual Margarita Half Finish, Virtual HalfWhen I got back into my neighborhood I started going up and down the side streets to get in my distance.

So close to home and I felt like I was running laps!

I managed to jog down my street and stopped my watch before I got to my house.

I was DONE!

I don’t think everyone has run and reported their results yet. But as of my run I was 131 out of 138!

Have you run any virtual races this year? How do you feel about them?

Run well my Friends!

Andy

Rhode Master Series 2020

Looking to run Rhode Island in 2020? The Rhode Master Series of Marathons and Half Marathons is still taking registrations for feet on the street races!

2020 Rhode Island Rhode Master Series

Originally posted on March 6, 2020. Updated July 8, 2020

My how things have changed.

The Rhode Master Series consists of five Rhode races in five cities and towns across Rhode Island.

The first race, The Newport Marathon and Half Marathon was a live event in April. They 419 finishers for the full marathon and 1139 for the half.

Pretty amazing considering that Massachusetts was under shelter in place orders and The Boston Marathon was postponed at that time.

Newport Full Results

The Bristol Independence Half on June 27th went virtual and had 792 runners – Bristol Full Results.

Jamestown Half is still scheduled for September 19th.

The Narragansett Marathon and Half is still scheduled for October 25th.

The Providence Marathon was scheduled for May 3rd but was cancelled due to the Governors stay at home order which was in place through May 8th.

You can still take your pick of 4 half marathons and two marathons, with three events consisting of both distances.

Sign up for the series and run 3 or 4 of the races. As a Rhode Master Series runner you will receive discounts on registration fees, an exclusive medal that will “complete” the series, swag just for series runners and special sponsor discounts for series runners.

Information on the series is here.

Featured in my post, New England Marathons Fall, you can receive 15% off the Narragansett Marathon or Half.

This discount is normally reserved for Rhode Master Series runners who run at least three races.

Ocean State Rhode Races – Narragansett

Narragansett, RI |  25 October 2020 – Sunday – 7:30 AM

rhode island marathon, fall marathons, virtual race

The Marathon starts at 7:30AM, Half at 8AM and the 5K at 8:15AM.

Narragansett is the final stop in the Rhode Master Series and you are sure to see many Rhode Masters receive their series medal.

This race harkens back to the original Ocean State Marathon with the start in Narragansett Beach.

It follows beautiful Rt 1a and showcases wonderful ocean views, old stone walls, working farms, estuaries and kayak stands. It really is a pretty one.

It is a smaller marathon so you won’t have to fight through crowds of people at the start to achieve your PR or BQ.  The marathon is a Boston Qualifier.

These races feature FREE PHOTOS and a secured bag check at the start.

Registration is open –   $95 for the Marathon, $65 for the Half and $30 for the 5K.

They also have a virtual half marathon option for $50.

Exclusively for Omni Running readers – get 15% off of registration when you use code OMNIFAN. Click here to go to the registration page.

Next price increase is August 31st, 2020.

Rhode Races & Events is committed to recycling at this year’s Ocean State Rhode Races. Road Races create a lot of waste, but we’ll reduce our footprint by diverting hundreds of pounds of cardboard boxes, water jugs, and plastic bottles from the landfill.

To learn more about our race day efforts and how you can help – please click this link.  Additionally – all clothing discarded at the start of the race will be donated to North American Family Institute.

Run Rhode Island well my Friends,

Andy

Great Bay Half Marathon 2020 Virtual Edition

I ran The Great Bay Half Marathon in my own back yard this year. Like so many other races, Great Bay went virtual for 2020.

I’ve run The Great Bay Half Marathon four times.

It’s usually held about a week before the Boston Marathon and when I have a bib for Boston I don’t run Great Bay.

Tapering is supposed to be about cutting back and recuperating, it’s not good a time to run a challenging half marathon.

This year I didn’t have a bib for Boston so I signed up for Great Bay. I love the course, seeing all of my friends and the great party afterwards.

Great Bay Half Marathon 2020

Like almost every race since February, The Great Bay Half Marathon went virtual for 2020.

I had to make up my own course and run the race by my self, totally un-supported.

I went through my Garmin Connect dashboard and found a loop that I could make a 13.1 mile course.

Great Bay Health Marathon 2020 Virtual, Virtual Half

This is a short run across Medford to The Mystic Valley Parkway.

The Parkway is a nice run along the Mystic Lakes with several parks and lots of activity.

It’s particularly popular with cyclist.

When I woke up around 6:30 AM it was already 66° and I knew we were headed for the 80s.

As such I didn’t waste much time getting ready to go. All of my gear was laid out and I was out the door just after 7:00 AM.

The sun was up and the temperature was now 68°.

As I ran down my street I could feel all kinds of aches and pains. I’ve been running less and my legs seem to be feeling worse. Go figure.

I knew that much of this would go away after the first mile and tried to relax and go slow.

The first two miles were 9:16 and 9:03. In West Medford I had to stop for the Commuter Rail train.  I forgot to stop my watch and mile three came in at 10:32.

Great Bay Half Marathon 2020 Virtual, Commuter Rail, West Medford

Mystic Valley Parkway

About a half mile after the rail road crossing I came to the rotary where the Mystic Valley Parkway begins.

Mystic Valley Parkway Sign, Great Bay HalfStrait through the rotary is Arlington and to the right was my designated course up the Parkway.

When I stopped to take this photo just before 8:00 the temperature was already 73° . I was glad to know that most of this parkway is well shaded.

In Massachusetts masks are still required if you cannot maintain social distancing.

It’s impossible to avoid people and I know that I’m going to be close to people at some point during my runs.

It’s amazing how many people won’t give any room to pass on the side walk even with traffic. Am I supposed to run into cars and trucks?

For me, the possibility of death is better than near certainty!

Around mile four I took my Honey Stinger gel. I brought two just in case since it has been a while since I’ve run this distance.

These two miles up The Parkway were fairly comfortable. My aches and pains were gone for the most part. My left knee still bothered me but not enough to cause concern.

Mile 4: 9:03, Mile 5: 9:20

Winchester and Stoneham

Miles six and seven through Winchester were also fairly comfortable. I had been sweating basically since I left my house.

This section of my course had very little shade and it must have been close to 80°. One water bottle was empty and I had taken a drink from my second one.

My mind drifted back to Death Valley. There I learned to drink less than half of your water on the outbound leg of your hike.

I was more than halfway through my run, but I knew there were hills and more fully exposed road coming up.

I took a salt pill and a small drink.

With the Corona Virus pandemic, Dunkin Donut’s has closed all of their bathrooms. So no pit stops to take on or get rid of water.

I don’t take salt very often and I hoped that it wouldn’t make me sick.

But I was sweating heavily and knew I needed the sodium and potassium in that pill.

I passed our usual water stop on Eugene Drive and crossed Rt. 93 into Stoneham.

It was nice knowing that I was well over half way and still felt okay.

When I got to Main Street, my instinct told me to cross and go strait. But for this run I needed to turn right and head south on Main Street/Rt 28.

If I went strait, I’d end up in Melrose and have way too many more miles to run.

After about a half mile I arrived at the intersection of Main Street and South St/North Board Road just up the road from The Stone Zoo.

I stopped my watch and waited for a break in the traffic. I hate pressing the crossing light button. I can get across the road in 5 seconds, but those lights last much longer. Often I get across before the light even changes.

I continued strait on Main Street/Rt. 28 along the back side of Spot Pond. This was another two miles of almost no shade at all.

At mile 10 I had to walk a bit. I was hot and running low on water. With no water stops ahead of me I had to be careful.

Miles seven through eleven were between 9:34 and 10:12.

On the Home Stretch

Just before Mile Eleven I passed my normal turn onto Elm Street. This would have taken me over to Highland Avenue and added a mile or so to my run.

I kept running strait down Rt. 28 towards Roosevelt Circle. This is a busy entrance to Rt. 93 and for local traffic. Fortunately there is a sidewalk and traffic wasn’t heavy yet.

My kids went to the St. Francis Parish School and I was now in an area I knew quite well.

As I passed St. Francis Street I thought about all of the mornings I went up that road to drop the girls off for school in the morning.  Good memories.

The sidewalk along this stretch of road has been heaved by frost and tree roots. I had to watch my step and considered running in the road.

But this section of road is like a speed way on the way to Rt. 93. So I kept my head down and my feet high.

At the intersection of the Fellsway West and Fulton Street the walk light was on! I ran the diagonal across six lanes of traffic for a beautifully executed crossing. That intersection must be 200′ across diagonally.

About half way down the Fells to Rt. 60 I hit mile 12 at 9:35. Not bad.

American Runs on Dunkin!

I was on my way to Haynes Square in Medford. There is a Dunkin Donut’s there and I decided to run to the Dunkin’s for a large iced coffee.

I was dehydrated and I knew that ice cold beverage would taste so good. And since there weren’t any water stops for the half marathon, I owed it to myself to have one good water stop!

I pulled up my mask and walked into Dunkin’s. There were only two people in front of me and I stopped my watch.

It only took about two minutes to place my order and be on my way.

I drank about a quarter of the coffee before I even crossed Rt. 60! I’ve run with an iced coffee several times and it’s much easier to do if it’s not full.

I slow jogged down Spring Street towards my home which was lass than a mile away.

Great Bay 2020, Dunkin DonutsI’m sure I was a sight to see, but hey, America Runs on Dunkin! Call me Captain America, I’ve got an iced coffee!

Just after I turned onto my street I hit mile thirteen at 11:21. Not bad for a guy drinking an iced coffee!

I jogged the next 0.12 miles at a pace of 10:09.

It felt good  to be home.

Running in the heat is really draining. While I prefer heat over cold the heat does seem to take more out of me now. Some of that is probably age and some is probably my fitness level.

Virtual Great Bay Half Results

This definitely was my slowest Great Bay Half Marathon by well over ten minutes.

The real course has a total elevation gain of 424 Ft. while the course I ran only had a gain of 323 Ft. But it’s also about 20° cooler in New Hampshire in April!

It was good to get a solid long run in and the virtual race got me out there.

Have you run many virtual races this year? Have you run a virtual half or a full marathon?

Here are two recaps from from New Hampshire.

Great Bay Half Marathon 2015

Great Bay Half 2013

Run well my Friends,

Andy

Virtual 5K Races 2020

With so many races being cancelled due to COVID-19, it’s nice to have the option to run a virtual 5K and support local causes that need your support now more than ever.

Have you ever run a virtual 5K race before?

Until April 20th of 2020, I’d never run virtual 5K races or any other type of virtual races. Running a “race” by myself just seems like a training run to me.

On training runs, I never run as hard as I do during a race.  And the virtual 5k races I’ve run have felt like training runs.

Virtual races allow us to have some fun. Maybe provide the motivation we need to go for a run and our race fees are helping local organizations who really need our support right now.

Virtual 5K Races

It seems like virtual 5K races are everywhere this year but mainly in your in-box.

If you are like me you get emails for virtual races almost every day.

And like me, you’ve probably gotten way too many emails from races you signed up for, informing you that they are going virtual.

My running club, Melrose Running Club, held two virtual races the weekend the Boston Marathon was supposed to take place.

We had the “Keep Your Distance 5K” and the “Virtual-ly Insane Half Marathon” on the weekend of April 20th. Everyone had a good time with it.

We ran the Cinco De Mayo QuaranTeam Virtual challenge on May 5th and will be running the Stepping Stones for Stella 5K and 10K the weekend of June 21st.

The way things are going we will probably be going virtual for the rest of the year.

Can you imagine crowding into a corral before a race?

How about running down the street behind and betwixt hundreds of other runners? All breathing deeply and exhaling forcefully?

There’s a lot of sweat, snot and spit flying during a race. That’s on top of being in everyone else’s space and breathing their air.

Finding Virtual 5K races 2020

As I mentioned above, you probably have more emails than you want announcing new virtual 5K races, 10K and even half marathons.

I’m running two virtual half marathons. God help me!

So between your in-box and the web site of your local race management or timing company, you can probably find more virtual races than you’d care to.

Since you can run a virtual race anywhere and you don’t have to go anywhere, pick a race that supports a cause dear to your heart. Perhaps one that raises funds to thank and support our healthcare providers and first responders.

A few Virtual 5Ks to choose from

Miles 4 My Community – May 23rd. This is a nation-wide effort to raise Virtual racemoney to support local youth sports programs and other local organizations impacted by COVID-19. You can run a 5K, 10K, half or full marathon for a $20 donation. Larger amounts will be accepted.

Registration includes a virtual bib and for $10 each you can order a shirt and a medal.

You track your results with your GPS watch or an app. They are not exactly clear on how to submit your results. That information may be in the registration confirmation email.

Sign up using code ‘maskon’ and you’ll receive a custom printed running gaiter with your registration!

Margarita virtual 5K

Margarita 5KJune 14th.  This race was scheduled to take place in Portsmouth, NH but now it can take place in your neighborhood.

For this race they will mail your shirt, bib and medal. So you can run around your neighborhood in the race shirt, with a bib. When you get home you can mix your own margarita and show off your medal.

The 5K is $39. There is also the Margarita Half for $79. Swag for the half includes a nice quarter zip fleece.

2020 Boston Run Fest Virtual – June 19-21 Registration is free and you can run a 5K, 10K or half-marathon.

Boston Road Runners, Boston Run FestBoston Road Runners is a local non-profit to inspire youth to run. Our vision is to create a community of runners to support one another while giving back. The Boston Run Fest will benefit the youth to support their runs through youth runs, youth running programs, and create a safe space for youth to gain confidence.

The run is open and free we encourage everyone to make a donation to support our non-profit.

Stepping Stones for StellaJune 21st.   This race is free with a donation appreciated to support their work. Click the image below for details.

Stepping Stones for Stella, virtual 5K race
Click to learn more

Smuttynose 5K – June 21st.  This race is still scheduled to happen at the Smuttynose Brewery in Hampton, NH. Loco Running does have a COVID 19 notice on the race web page stating that they may have to go virtual.

You will still get a shirt, bib and medal but no beer or BBQ.

I think it’s a safe bet that this will be a virtual race.

Smuttynose Will Run 5K for Beer, Virtual 5K

Of course you can make up your own virtual 5K race and make a donation to a local food pantry.

Run well my Friends and stay healthy!

Andy