“Disclaimer: I received a race entry for the Sanford Fargo Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”
Welcome to 2020, aka the year of the virtual race. I am sure I am not alone in feeling a wave of disappointment as each of my 12 originally scheduled races for the year were postponed to 2021. However, just as we’ve all adjusted to a “new norm”, race organizers have been working hard to figure out an alternative to keep us running and collecting that coveted bling.
When I was presented the opportunity to run the Sanford Fargo (half) Marathon virtually I immediately said “Yes, yes, yes!”. I registered on August 3rd, which meant I only had 3 1/2 weeks to get in race shape again. Although I’ve been averaging 168 miles per month this summer, I was far from being conditioned for running 13.1 miles in a race capacity. I jumped right into training mode, focusing on a combination of shorter, fast runs and longer, slow runs. I was fortune to have another half marathon the week prior to the Fargo Marathon to dust off the cobwebs, however this was going to be my first virtual half.
After a few short weeks of training, race day had arrived. It was early on a Saturday morning and while I was bummed I wasn’t stretching and doing a warm up jog alongside fellow runners at the start line, I was excited to race again. I did a quick warm up in my driveway and it was off to the races, literally! The first 7 miles were pretty smooth as it was early enough it was not too hot yet. However, the second half was a bit of a struggle. I was definitely missing water and aid stations but the most noticeable missing piece was the encouragement from perfect strangers. The boost of adrenaline from their support- clapping, ringing cowbells, shouting “You’ve got this!” or “Good job!”- is something that can’t be replaced. That being said, I think the virtual race option is an awesome motivator for runners to keep their training on point during this uncertain time.
A toasty 1:56:55 later, I crossed my virtual finish line. While there was no one at the end announcing my name or cheering me to victory, I was just as proud of myself. With every stride, breath, and sweat droplet, I earned my awesome finisher medal and swag! Check it out below!
I am hopeful that I’ll be running the Sanford Fargo Marathon in person next year, zooming past the Fargodome and alongside the beautiful Red River while listening to the live music each mile. Topped off with watching myself finish on the awesome jumbotron at the Fargodome. #2021goals!