2020 was definitely a year for the record books right? So, when I saw a racing company offer a virtual half marathon race featuring a “commemorative” 2020 medal, I naturally signed up. Not because I need another racing bib and medal to hang up, but mostly because if you would’ve mentioned a year ago how different life would bein 2020 and how one year could actually feel more like a decade, I would’ve thought you were crazy.
Covid-19 was brutal for many athletes. The Olympic games were canceled, major sports initially didn’t happen and colligate athletes were left wondering what would happen to their scholarships. In my non-professional world, every race I had scheduled from March till June went caput. I was actually all trained for a spring marathon, only to have it canceled a week and a half before race day; I was all trained and primed with no where to go. While in the end, nothing compares to saving lives, it was none the less a big adjustment.
Despite all the challenges and difficulties, 2020 still turned out to be a productive running year. In true American fashion, racing companies focused on ingenuity and virtual races and some events even happened with limited participants and some serious Covid protocol’s.
In 2020, I was able to patriciate in 23 total races, with 19 events actually happening in person. Four virtual races weren’t so bad… you gotta admit, that 2020 medal was pretty cool!
Here’s a few highlights for me… I ended up running an ultra marathon (barely pre-covid) and a marathon where I actually hit my 3rd Boston Qualifying time. Did I mention I had this fear that my road marathon would still be canceled? It wasn’t until I was actually at the starting line in November that I really believed I’d get to run a road marathon in 2020…
I ended up with seven podium finishes for my age group in 2020 as well. Three- first place, one- second place, and three for third.
I think my biggest 2020 running take away is learning to appreciate change. If I didn’t have chronic health challenges would I have gotten out and continued to run day after day? I don’t know, but illness certainly has helped me appreciate the importance of dedication and consistency. I learned a long time ago to notice the simple small victories like a half marathon without a bathroom stop and how good it feels to help a runner who’s struggling. Here’s to a new year, and the gift that 2020 really was.