Can you believe it’s been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic started?! Crazy, ha? But that sure did not stop me and my friends to continue doing our favorite sport, running!
Last year, I signed up to do several races, but as we all know 2020 was the year of the virtual races. Virtual race? What exactly is that? That’s a question I got from a couple of friends and family that are not very familiar with the running world. Participating in a virtual run, is pretty simple, all you have to do is run on a treadmill or outside doing your favorite route but you have to make sure you use a GPS tracking device/app like Garmin or Strava so you know exactly how much you’ve ran and how long is has taken you. Then you just take a screenshot of your run that has your route, time and distance and you submit it to the race portal and voila!
Here are a couple of the races we ended up doing VIRTUALLY:
March 2020: Pearland Half Marathon
We are loyal to this race because we ran the very first Pearland Half Marathon at their inaugural race in 2019, so of course we had to continue with our tradition and sign up again. I will never forget that this race was schedule to happened on March 22, but the official lock down happened a few days before, so this was the beginning of the “VIRTUAL” race year. I remember being so paranoid and scared of running around by myself and I swore I was going to get COVID because I drank water from a water fountain in the park haha …. oh, beginning of quarantine flashbacks!
This year, they had the option to do this race in person, but my friends and I were not vaccinated yet, so we decided to run the 2021 half marathon race together virtually and it was a lot better than running it alone.
April 2020: UT Longhorn Run
Although I’m not a Longhorn, because I didn’t attend the University of Texas, two of my cousins are! Since 2018, we have been doing this race together as a family and I’m proud that my cousins are also starting to participate in races.
I usually do the 10KM with my cousins, but since last year it was virtual, I just decided to take it easy and just do the 5KM. I still really enjoyed it and I really liked the race packet that they sent!
This year, it was also virtual, so I also just did the 5KM. Best part, the race packet box was even cooler this year and I got a $5 off since I submitted my race time on time. Thanks UT, go Longhorns!
October 2020: Houston Half Marathon
This half marathon is definitely one of my favorite races to do in Houston and I have been a loyal annual participant since 2017! This was my second virtual half marathon, so the second time around was a bit more fun and less scary. They are supposed to have it in person this year, so fingers crossed!
November 2020: TCS NYC Marathon
OMG, this was definitely that hardest challenge of the year! Since my friends and I usually do a marathon together every year and we were supposed to run the Chicago Marathon in 2020, we decided it would be a great idea to do the virtual NYC Marathon that came with a finisher medal. Oh boy, it was definitely a lot harder than we expected. After running this race, we realized how much of a difference it makes to have people cheering you on along the race and how important water stations are. Luckily, one of our fellow running friends had mercy on us and came along with us on her bike to cheer us on and to carry water and snacks for us. We are so thankful for you, Elena!!! ❤
After several months, we finally received our medals, and we had a mini photoshoot to celebrate!
I am optimistic and hopeful that later this year we will be able to go back to in person races, since more people are getting the COVID vaccine. Can’t wait to go back and hear people cheer us on and cross that finish line again!