Supporting the Asheville Marathon and Half at Biltmore has become a full enjoyment for the last 6 years. I have become fairly involved as an ambassador, but mostly with volunteering time at the office or having mastered being the Awards guru for the race. I thoroughly enjoy having a role to take control of to help disperse the work for the race.
This year was different because we came up to the final week when my work would really kick into place… and boom Coronovirus came and the race had to be cancelled. Along with all the other races in the country… sending hundreds of thousands of runners into a tizzy due to lost fees, virtual races, deferrals, schedule changes, loss of meaning to why we are all out there training.
I personally had 5 races scheduled for this spring- helping me add 4 states to my 50 state race goal. All 5 races either went virtual, rescheduled, and/or allowed deferring. I’ve been training nonstop- but now it seems questionable as to why I should aim at any long runs at this point.
But a number of runners are getting out and running their races virtually, including me. At least for this first one. I’m still considering what to do with the next 4 races as part of the goal was to actually run in that state and now that’s not looking promising for it to occur in the next 3 months for sure. For the races that allow deferment, I’m opting to just push it to next year. For the races that are offering virtual only, I’m likely going to go ahead and run the race virtually, get their swag, then one day run the race on my own in their state. That’s the only way that see logical and honest to the rules.
It’s frustrating after you’ve been excited for these for months and looking forward to the vacations and experiencing a new area. However again, I remind you that hundreds of thousands of runners are feeling the same pains and the race directors are absolutely beside themselves and hoping to just not lose their businesses because of all of this. And not to mention the charities. So many races are funding a charity of sort. Now those charities are losing $ as well…
So before you get mad, realize we are all in the same boat and not all races have the same options.
But in my case, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to do the virtual Asheville Marathon and Half on the Biltmore estate on the date I originally scheduled it for. So I did! And we were not the only ones! We ran the full actual course as well (outside of one of the parking lots). It was not bad. The weather was gorgeous. The course was fully open. We felt accomplished when we were done! And one day I’ll get my swag and medal and show it off. I am super excited!