Virtual races are my JAM!!! Virtual races with friends is even MORE my JAM!!!! :)
I was psyched when Sparkle Athletic announced their #TeamSparkle virtual 5k race to support Rett Syndrome & Girl Power 2 Cure. The wonderful girls of Sparkle Athletic asked if I would host an in-person run in Boston and I jumped at the chance.
Virtual races allow you to set your own race day and course. I like to wait to complete my virtual run until I have the medal or bib or whatever the race is providing in hand. Sparkle Athletic shipped out a real race bib and a sparkly medal.
On April 10, myself and 8 friends gathered together in Somerville to run a 5k for a group of girls that cannot run due to Rett Syndrome.
Page and I had already run 5 miles before the race for the Represent Running San Jose #408k. I brought my entire collection of Sparkle Athletic skirts and visors to make sure everyone present could rock some sparkle if they didn't have their own.
The friends that joined me were members of my Slumbrew Happy Soles running club. We have a monthly free 5k out of the exact spot we met for the #TeamSparkle 5k so we had a very familiar 5k route to use for the virtual race.
We all acquired satellites, repositioned our Sparkle Athletic bibs and headed out for a fun time full of smiles.
The route we have is flat, mainly on a nice path and clear of traffic. :) Page and I were trying to stick to a pace around 9:00 min/mile. So let's see how we did.
During the first mile, we have an out and back that allows for plenty of high fives, cheers and sparkly smiles. I love this route and was so happy to see all of the smiling faces during the first mile!
Mile 1: 8:55
As you can see the route is basically a big horseshoe - it makes it easier for me to keep an eye on all of the participants of our monthly runs (no person left behind).
I took the chance at the second turnaround to snap some action pictures of our lovely runners!!
I am definitely not a professional, but I think I captured the amazing spirits of my friends. I couldn't stop smiling! Once everyone passed the final turnaround, Page and I headed out to meet them at the Finish.
Mile 2: 9:08
Of course we started speeding up at the end knowing we were in the final mile.
My knee was still upset with me from the long run the day prior, but it didn't hurt as much. I knew I would have to head home and ice, but for now I was celebrating the ability to run. As we know not everyone does.
THAT pushed me to keep moving ... one foot in front of the other!
Mile 3: 8:49
OFFICIAL FINISH TIME: 27:40 (8:56 min/mile pace)
WOO HOO!! We finished the run with high-fives, hugs and a need for celebration snacks!
I was wicked proud of our participants and thankful for their participation.
How amazing is that group? Am I right?
Overall the virtual race experience was awesome. I love wearing a real bib and having my medal in hand when I finish. You KNOW I wore that bling proudly all day long and showed it off to everyone I saw.
It is great any day I get to run, but even better when it benefits special individuals!!
Did you run the #TeamSparkle 5k? If so, solo or with a group?