I Chose the #AFMarathon Fly! Fight! Win! Challenge
My #FlyFightWin Virtual Air Force Challenge included a 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon. Since this was a virtual race, participants could choose to run their races when and where they wanted any time in September.
I decided to run all three races on the original race weekend. I wanted to challenge myself, and create a race weekend vibe as much as possible. It was fun!
The Air Force Marathon has special significance to me. I wanted to honor my favorite Air Force Peeps. There are a bunch of them, and my efforts celebrated every single one of them! I'm so proud and thankful for them all.
Air Force Marathon 2020 Virtual 5K
My first race was the 5K. I ran mine in beautiful downtown St. Pete along the waterfront.
Disclaimer: I received registration for the Air Force Marathon 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
My route was in and around Albert Whitted Airport, so the planes in the background felt appropriate for an Air Force race.
It was a gorgeous morning with blue skies, white puffy clouds, and lots of humidity! I think running wherever you like is one of the best parts of a virtual race.
Air Force Marathon 2020 Virtual 10K
My second race was the 10K. I decided to run around my favorite lake because it has a 1.25 mile loop. It would be easy to run 6 circles around the lake. I was also hopeful there would be a nice breeze off the water. (There was!)
It was another humid run, but went smoothly. I felt strong and oh so optimistic about my half marathon!
By the way, I want to mention fueling and hydration. I carried water on all my races and planned out where I could refill my bottle. That's a big deal when you're on your own for a virtual race. I carry water + electrolytes when run long distances in the Florida heat.
Air Force Marathon 2020 Virtual Half Marathon
I was a bit nervous about the half marathon. But, I was determined. It always helps me when I run for someone other than myself.
This race was to honor my Dad, nieces and nephew who all serve or served in the USAF. There was no way I wasn't going to finish all the miles for these people I love.
So, off I went on Day 3 for Race 3.
I Channeled #EverySingleStreet for My Half
I like to add a twist to my virtual races to keep them interesting. Sometimes I turn the race into a Scavenger Hunt.
For the 2020 Air Force Half Marathon I decided to run #EverySingleStreet Rickey Gates Style. I live in a great big city, so I broke it down into neighborhoods. I chose two neighborhoods I never run in for my half marathon route. Below are a just a few of the new things I saw.
I recommend adding your own twist to any virtual race. It makes it easier to stay engaged. Run in a new-to-you place or challenge yourself somehow to add another layer to your experience.
SWAG, More SWAG and a Virtual Expo
Even though the 2020 Air Force Marathon was virtual, there was plenty of SWAG!
I earned a medal for each race, PLUS a Challenge Medal featuring the HH-60G PAVE HAWK. The challenge medal has moving helicopter blades.
All participants receive a race shirt. 2020 Fly! Fight! Win! Challengers also get a quarter zip!
There was a Virtual Expo for runners and the public. Everyone can shop the expo from September 1 through September 30 to take advantage of discounts and great products.
There was a LIVE Facebook Stream on Saturday, September 19. It was a great way to feel part of the larger race community. If you missed the live event, watch the AFMarathon Race Day here.
I really enjoyed this challenge. Race management did a great job of keeping everyone engaged throughout the training period. They sent regular emails and newsletters. They also liked and commented on social media posts. I love when a race organization interacts with me!
The virtual expo and live stream on race day were great extras. Add that to all the SWAG that mails to runners in early October, and I'd def call this event a winner. Sure, the Air Force has a special place in my heart, but even if it didn't I'd run this event again!
Thanks to the Air Force Marathon for making this a special event in a very weird year.
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