Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Cinco de Miler to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews.
What a difference a day (or in this case, two weeks) makes! I was so excited to have signed up to run the Cinco de Miler on Saturday, May 2nd. Chicago is my home town and as a Halloween baby I have a penchant for the macabre, so I was really looking forward to this Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) themed race! As a Chicago native, I have run a number of races hosted by RAM Racing and I can honestly say their races are top-notch. In fact, I enjoy their races so much, I am signed up for not one, not, two, but five of their races this year!
But alas, the world had different plans. Just two weeks after registering for the race, I received an e-mail stating the race was being converted to a virtual event due to the coronavirus pandemic and the stay-at-home orders that were set forth in Illinois and in many other states. So what’s a runner to do? As I always do, I made limonada out of limones. After all, there’s no crying in running!
Being one to look for the positives in any situation, this is my take on the race having gone virtual:
Even after the race went virtual, my son decided to sign up with me. Having someone to complete the virtual race with made it fun and more than just another solo training run.
Virtual race participants would still receive the long-sleeved black tech tee and awesome finisher’s medal that doubles as a bottle opener. I received my packet the morning of the virtual race, so I was able to use the medal to pop open my favorite cerveza later in the day. We received some yummy Mexican dulces in our swag bags, and the finisher’s shirt is oh-so-silky and comfortable!
The Cinco de Miler is part of RAM Racing’s 2020 Run This Town Challenge. Running the race virtually still counts toward the challenge.
The race was set to start at 8:00 a.m., which would have meant getting up at 5:30 a.m. and driving into the city and spending money on gas and parking. With the race having gone virtual, I chose to sleep in and was able to relax and enjoy the morning before heading out for our run.
I have a favorite running route that is exactly five miles, starting and ending right outside my doorstep. The route is never crowded and we saw just a handful of people along the way, which made it easy to socially-distance.
Participants could enter their time on the race website and download a fun-themed ‘official’ finisher’s certificate.
With the switch to a virtual race, RAM Racing added a charity partner and made the commitment to donate $5.00 from each registration to help the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund , which helps get resources into the hands of the organizations on the front line of this pandemic. For me personally, this was the biggest benefit of the race having gone virtual.
And as an added bonus, though completely unplanned, the ribbon on the finisher’s medal was a perfect match to the SPIBelt I chose to wear that day!
While it wasn’t what I planned, running a virtual race was a fun way to spend my Saturday morning with my son. The temperature was a bit warm, but we had a nice breeze that kept us cool and we took our time and enjoyed the experience. Hats off to RAM Racing and to all of the other races, big and small, that are doing the best they can to keep us healthy and safe during this pandemic. These are difficult times for so many. Let’s all do our part to stay positive and support our friends in the running community.
Have you ever run a virtual race? Which was your favorite? What races do you have planned for the upcoming year?
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On (or off) my 2020 Race Calendar:
January 9 – 12, 2020: Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge, Orlando, FL
March 1, 2020:
Tokyo Marathon DEFERRED to 2021
March 15, 2020:
Amita Health St. Paddy’s Day Half Marathon, Bolingbrook, IL POSTPONED until September
May 2, 2020:
Cinco de Miler, Chicago, IL Gone VIRTUAL
May 23, 2020:
Soldier Field 10 Miler, Chicago, IL Gone VIRTUAL
June 21, 2020:
Wonder Woman 10K, Chicago, IL Gone VIRTUAL
July 12, 2020:
Across the Bay 12K, San Francisco, CA Gone VIRTUAL
September 12, 2020: Run Mag Mile, Chicago, IL
October 4, 2020: Bucktown 5K, Chicago, IL
October 11, 2020: Chicago Marathon