Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Global 24 Hour Relay as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!
On June 3rd – which happened to be Global Running Day – I participated in a virtual run. My first ever virtual run. My first ever virtual run relay. I participated in the Global 24 Hour Relay – and I liked it.
As I said in a previous post – this year is different!
I joined up with many of my fellow BibRave Pro’s as well as other runners from across the world to relay run for 24 hours.I’m typically more of a solo runner, so the idea of a virtual run relay had me a bit skeptical at first. My trepidation subsided quickly, because it really was as simple as me just going out for another “normal” run – but this time, someone somewhere was waiting for me to finish! The event started at 12midnight with designated runners taking off on a 30 minute run. At the conclusion of the 30 minutes, that runner would “pass the baton” to the next runner via text message and this continued every 30 minutes until 11:59pm later that same night.
To make the event a little more of a “team” feel (remember it was a RELAY after all), the organizers had participants select which of the provided major cities they wanted to represent. Since there were none of the major Ohio cities to choose from, I opted for the next closest and repped Team Detroit. Definitely helped me get more into the mindset of the event knowing I’d have a team to help push and celebrate with – even if we weren’t actually together.
On the day of the event, I received my email about who I’d be “passing the baton” to after my segment. I had now I this is where it took a bit of a turn. However, I had no idea who would be passing it to me though – which Ididn’t mind. What was somewhat demoralizing though was that it appeared on the team page that I was the only one on Team Detroit, which came into play when my turn to run came around.
When it was time for me to head out, I totally expected some form of text – wishing me good luck, or to have fun, or something along those lines. Nothing. In any other year, I might be willing to be more critical of the event or the organizers, but this has been a weird year. There are likely a ton of reasons why I didn’t get my “baton” text. Maybe there wasn’t a runner scheduled before me? Maybe there was and they forgot? Maybe they mistyped my number? Honestly though, it’s okay! I still hit the start button on my watch and headed out, solo – like I usually do, and cranked out another 30 minute run and THAT’S the most important thing. So that’s what I did – I ran around my neighborhood for 30 minutes. When I got home, I shot a text to Bambi (who I don’t know) and let her know that it was time to start her leg of the relay. And that was it – my leg was over, I had passed the “baton”, and it was time to relax!
Towards the end of June, each participant received their swag, which included an event t-shirt and a medal – just like one would receive at an in-person event. The medal definitely grabs your attention with the various colors and awesome design, which makes me immediately think of the state flag of Arizona for some reason.
Ultimately, virtual runs aren’t typically my cup of tea and aren’t something I gravitate toward. This event has opened my mind a little bit more to the idea, though. That’s helpful considering most (if not all) of my races the rest of the year have gone virtual.
I did enjoy the event though and would consider doing something like it again in the future. It definitely helped me feel connected to others, despite not being able to connect in person with others.