It is our unfortunate truth right now that races across the world have been cancelled or postponed. Our decision to host a virtual Happy Half Marathon this year was definitely not an easy one. However, we know that it was necessary. We also know that there is a lot to learn through hosting a virtual event and while it takes away the atmosphere of an in-person race, there are still quite a few advantages to participating in a virtual event. Whether it is ours or not, we hope that you find success in whatever races you participate in. If you are on the fence about competing in a virtual race, here are some thoughts that might just convince you to try it out!
No time limits
We often get questions about whether or not participants can walk in the Happy Half Marathon. Typically, we have a course time limit of about 4 hours, meaning that some people on the cusp of that time limit, might be left out. However, if you are participating in a virtual event, you are free to take all of the time you want. If you have always thought about participating in a half marathon, but been concerned about the course time limits, a virtual race is a perfect opportunity for you! Run, walk, or crawl. Do whatever you have to do to make it 13.1 miles.
Choose your own course
We are fortunate to have a course that is mostly shaded and has a negative grade. It’s perfect for a race in any weather, especially in August where the weather tends to be muggy. We love our local trails and encourage you to use them (safely, of course) if at all possible. It is a great way to see the beauty of our area. With that said, a virtual event gives you the opportunity to run from wherever you are anywhere in the world. You will not have to travel to show up the day before to pick up your race packet or show up early on race day. You can pick a course that fits you and run wherever you want! Plus, wouldn’t it be awesome to see how many different places we can get Happy Half participants from? If you or someone you know has a connection to the Springfield area, let them know about the Happy Half and our mission to make a difference in our community.
Compete with yourself
Running a race without the buzz of race day is not easy. A virtual event, like a training run, is a competition with yourself. Is it more difficult to push yourself to the limits without hundreds of other runners there for support and encouragement? For some, that answer is probably yes. A virtual race doesn’t just test your physical endurance, it tests your mental endurance as well.
Give yourself a goal to shoot for, train hard, and go get it!
Pick your time
Many of us enjoy a good morning run, especially during the warmer months. The temperature is often cooler and it is a perfect way to start the day. However, running first thing in the morning is not for everyone. Another benefit of a virtual race is that you can choose the time of day that you want to run. If you prefer a mid-day or evening run, a virtual race gives you the option to do that whereas a traditional race does not! Of course if you still prefer an 8:00am start time, you can do that too!
Benefit a great cause from wherever you are
Ultimately, the goals of the Happy Half Marathon are twofold. We obviously want to organize an event that is enjoyable and safe for everyone. Our main mission though is to benefit the Springfield Regional Cancer Center. Through donations from the Happy Half Marathon, the Cancer Center has been able to provide excellent care close to patients and their families. They have been able to put our donations towards their massage therapy and strength programs helping their patients on a daily basis!
Many of you have been running with and supporting us for years. We are forever thankful for you and inspired by so many of the stories that we get to hear and tell. This year is going to be different and we may not have our “best” year from a numbers standpoint. We know that we will be successful in our own right, however. Despite the differences, we look forward to the success of the Happy Half at Home and hope that you will join us in making this event a success!