Rock CF Virtual Half Marathon Recap

On Sunday, March 29th I did my second-ever virtual half marathon, just a week after my first. I had planned to run the Ann Arbor Marathon and Rock CF half marathons on back-to-back weekends but COVID-19 changed that. Rock CF automatically turned into a virtual race with no other options available. I understood and was okay with that since the purpose of the race is to raise money for cystic fibrosis. Because I had signed up for both races, I was a part of the “March Mitten Marathon Madness” challenge. I received a bonus medal for participating in both races.

20200329 - michigan mitten medal1

By the middle of June I received my packet of Rock CF stuff in the mail. It included a long sleeve shirt, sticker, and medal.

20200329 - rock cf shirt

20200329 - sticker

20200329 - rock cf medal1

I ran my half marathon the day the race would have taken place and got in the spirit a little bit by wearing my shirt from last year’s race. For most of the run it was actually a little too warm wearing a long sleeve shirt because it was sunny, humid, and the temps were in the low 50s. I had accounted for a cooler real-feel due to strong winds in the forecast, but that didn’t hit until I had five miles left.

I ran all-out for the previous weekend’s virtual half marathon and was just 20 seconds slower than my PR. I wasn’t going to try that again a week later for this run. Initially, I had signed up for both races to help me get through long runs as I trained for a 50K anyway, so I told myself that this one was just a typical training run.

I mapped out a course along some dirt roads where I knew I could stay socially-distanced from others. I saw a few people along the way but not many. I started at Stoney Creek High School in Rochester Hills, MI and ran most of the route in Oakland Township.

20200329 - rock cf map

The dirt roads were scenic and pretty.

20200329 - rock cf roads1

20200329 - rock cf roads2

20200329 - rock cf roads3

Some stretches were hilly which helped keep my pace disciplined. No attempts at racing this time.

20200329 - rock cf elevation

I enjoyed the scenery but it was hard to think of this as anything other than a typical training run. That’s part of the reason virtual races don’t appeal to me.

I was thankful for the downhill stretch for the last few miles, especially since that’s when I had to start battling the wind. 1:51:23 was a solid time for a training run. My splits show how my pace varied depending on the hills.

20200329 - rock cf watch

20200329 - rock cf splits

Although doing this “race” felt pretty uneventful at the time that changed when I checked social media later. It was fun to see posts from a bunch of others about their runs. It connected everyone in a way and made it feel more special. We were all out there supporting Rock CF while doing a good workout. I enjoyed running the race around Grosse Ile in 2019 and hopefully I’ll get the chance to go back and do it the proper way again in the future.

20200329 - rock cf janet

– Janet

Follow me on Instagram @janetboltz and Twitter @reidphotography

 

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