The start of 2020 saw a new challenge for me, I was going to get involved in an event involving 5 marathons in 5 days. So the year started off with me training towards that, although to be honest I wasn’t training hard enough.
Then of course, Covid-19 started to unfold, and everything changed.
Truth be told, I’d been struggling for motivation anyway, and when lockdown arrived, and half the country seemed to take up running, I gave up and decided it was time to take a break. It wasn’t like I was sat festering on the sofa, at the start of lockdown I’d started working helping out at the local hospital.
So a month on, and I wasn’t feeling great and knew that my break from running could not continue, I needed a challenge.
So here is my question for today… Is a virtual marathon a ‘proper’ marathon?
When virtual marathons popped up as lockdown relaxed a little, there was a lot of judgement about these events from the running community.
So what do I think? Each to their own is what I think. In these difficult times, if someone needs to motivation to run a virtual ‘race’, be it along the seafront or around their back garden, then go for it, whatever works.
I broke my lockdown slumber, by deciding to enter a virtual marathon with Phoenix Running. A company I’d run events with a few times, and I thought could do with my entry fee. I also decided to do this on my 50th birthday. I knew my 50th was going to slip past with little celebration, so sod it, lets make it a day to remember.
I entered an ‘event’, got the family to buy into in as my birthday wish and away we went. We parked our van on the cycle path, got a couple of running friends to join in (socially distanced of course), and off we went.
Backwards and forwards along the path with different running buddies and family members, on a warm sticky day, until eventually my watch said 26.2. I really suffered for that month off, as indicated by the 4:49 finish time.
So is that a proper marathon? Well there were no official timers, no other competitors and no pacers. However, I got off my backside and ran 26.2 miles, I got a medal, and for me it was a day to remember. I’m going to call that a marathon, but each to their own 🙂