This past weekend (on May 4th to be precise) I ran a virtual 5k. This was not my first virtual race as I had run a virtual half marathon during my Goofy training. Although each virtual race has its own rules, the general idea is as follows. You register for the race and pay the entry fee (usually relatively nominal). Some portion of the entry fee often goes to charity. In this case the race was being organized by The Nerd Herd and the charity was a cancer charity. The Nerd Herd is running a series of 3 races with the “May the 4th be with you” as the first race. The distance for this race was a 5k and the rules were that the 5k could be completed in any way you wanted – walk, run, skip, hop, crawl, etc. Race bibs were emailed in advance (I was number 271). This race was to be run during the week leading up to May 4th (including on May 4th) and the theme of the race was Star Wars. Each participant was able to choose his/her favorite Star Wars character and a quote from that character was on the race bib. I picked Han Solo.
I do consider myself a Star Wars geek – the original movie came out when I was in kindergarten and defined my generation – but I’m not enough of a Star Wars geek to have a themed running costume. I also was in San Diego this past weekend for a work conference. Regular running clothes would have to suffice. I did print out my race bib and even bought safety pins from the hotel gift shop when I realized I’d left my at home. And on May 4th I ran my 5k.
I stayed at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego which had a beautiful path next to the beach. My virtual 5k was done in full view of the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately it was also insanely windy on Saturday morning which may have impacted my finish time. My official training plan this weekend called for 4 easy miles but I decided to run the 5k at a good pace and then take it easy for the last 0.9 miles. My pre-race conditions weren’t ideal – a relatively late arrival into San Diego on Thursday night followed by a big date-night dinner on Friday night. I wasn’t going for a particularly fast time in this event but wanted to have a good showing.
My “official” time was 32:26. My running calculators all predict that I can run closer to a 10 min/mile pace for a 5k but I thought this was a decent finish. I walked a few minutes before completing my 4 miles training run. On the way back to my hotel room somebody stopped me to ask what race I had been running. I guess my bib looked legit!
The next virtual race will be in July for Harry Potter’s birthday. I look forward to virtually racing again!!!