United Half Marathon VIRTUAL Half Marathon Race Recap


Image result for united new york half marathon 2020

March 15, 2020

It seems like I’ve been planning this race forever.  I got a guaranteed entry last April based on my finish time at the Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon (2:11:15).

66 so that was helpful as you can see. May get to run it again when I turn 70.

I was hoping to run the race when the course was only through Manhattan. (As of last year, it starts in Brooklyn.) And I had entered the lottery several times in the past but never got in.

So I signed up for the NYC Half Marathon as my 42nd Half Marathon for several reasons:

  • I got a guaranteed entry.
  • I love NYC.
  • I had enough pts for a free hotel room.
  • I ran it last year while recovering from a calf injury and wanted a do over.
  • I had friends running it.
  • They kept last year’s course which got rid of most of the Central Park hills at the end.
  • It’s such a prestigious race. How could you not?

Half Marathon Training:

If you follow my posts, you also know that I am not strict about following a training plan.  I ran my last half marathon on February 16 in Bermuda with LOTS of foot pain.

happy to have survived the pain!!

I skipped or shortened runs and sought the help of PT who used CBD oil, massage, ART, heat ultrasound, laser therapy and every trick in the book. No relief!

My PT recommended that I see another podiatrist who gave me a B12/cortisone shot and a metatarsal pad.

Pain GONE! (mostly)

Do I wish I had gone sooner to her? Or was it not the shot but a combination of all of the treatments?? Who knows?

Though I don’t usually care much about my short runs, I do like to get in a 10, 11 and 12 miler before each half marathon.

For this race, I obviously did not. A few short runs each week and a longish one.  All with some foot discomfort (until recently).

Yes, I was nervous that I was not prepared for run 13.1 miles and I was nervous about my foot pain returning.

So the goal for this half marathon was finishing!! If my foot started to bother me, I would just grit my feet and finish.  It’s a BIG race, There would be many runners finishing behind me.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

And then it happened. As you know, the RACE WAS CANCELLED!!

Over 25,000 disappointed runners.

I ran it last year. I felt so fortunate.

running down Times Square was truly amazing!!

But I was still bummed.

You had the choice of a refund or deferring to next year with no refund for this year and having to pay again for the race. I opted for the refund.

Most runners will not get their shirt or medal because of some greedy persons (who took extras and are selling them on eBay) but I had a friend in NYC who grabbed mine.

So the race was not happening, but I felt guilty about getting the medal and shirt and I wanted to run the race anyway.

I contacted my friends and two agreed to run 13.1 miles with me.

We decided on our normal long run day which is Saturday and planned to meet at 8:00 at the Nisky Bike Path.

running at Nisky Bike Path (on a warmer day)

I worked all day (standing) the day before but relaxed at mah jongg after my usual pre-race dinner of pizza.

Race Day:

I got up early and had my usual race breakfast of oatmeal and coffee.

I checked the weather it looked to be in the 30s and heading up to 40 and a little windy. I didn’t have to worry about bag check and could just leave extra clothes in my car.

Our plan was to run 4 miles in one direction and turn around, make a stop at our cars for water or to remove layers.

As you see, I tried to incorporate some NYC in my outfit: last year’s half shirt, LeBow hat and NYC calf sleeves.

Sherry and I run about the same pace but Stan runs considerably faster. He was nice enough to slow down. I insisted on walking every 2 miles to simulate a water stop (and to catch my breath.)

The course we chose is fairly flat. It was actually warm running with the wind at our backs but then a little chilly running into the wind (but not bad as the trees protected you on this path,)

At the 4 mile turn around, I ate a gel and then had water at our mile 8 stop. I changed to lighter gloves, from my Hokas to my Mizunos, and almost shred my vest. Stan changed hats.

Then we continued in the other direction.

I was getting tired and struggled to keep up. But it certainly helps to have someone to talk to the whole way and we stuck together.

Again we walked every 2 miles and I had my second gel at mile 10.5, our second turn around.

Then we headed back to the car.

We bumped into another friend Chris who was running as she headed back with a cowbell to cheer us on.

And we finished…13.1 done!!

So no crowd support or bridges or parks or Times Square but we did it.  Thanks to Sherry and Stan! I earned that medal and this:

Additional Race Reflections:

We finished at 2:31:39. Our average pace was 11:34. It felt faster but then we walked slowly and for longer than necessary and we chatted a lot. No regrets on that pace.

I am unbelievably happy to have run without that awful left foot pain.

But yes again the bunion on my other foot hurt while wearing the Hokas. (I’m returning them.)

I may go back to my Mizuno Wave Inspires or try something else.

Yes, I am sad that I could not run the real United NYC Half Marathon.

Maybe when I am 70, I’ll be able to run it again.

The Good:

  • The weather
  • flat course
  • friends to run with
  • slept in my own bed the night before
  • view of Mohawk river
  • great post race meal

The Bad:

  • tired legs
  • no water stops
  • no crowd support
  • bunion pain

The Ugly:

  • Nothing 🙂

Would I recommend this race?

Sure but only if you cannot run the real thing!!!

Final Stats:

Next Up:

A local race. The second year for this race. A downhill course. Lots of running friends. Should be fun… IF IT IS NOT CANCELLED!!

Image result for helderberg to hudson half marathon

Update: it was postponed until August 29, 2020


There is now a link-up organized by Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner).

Since today is Tuesday, I’m linking up with these ladies.


I’m linking up also with this link-up:

Formerly the Running Coaches’ Corner, it’s back with new co-hosts Coach Debbie RunsRunning on HappyConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Fauxrunner.

Happy Running! Was anyone else planning to run this race? If so, did you run it virtually?  Would you run it virtually, if your race were cancelled? Please share.

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31 thoughts on “United Half Marathon VIRTUAL Half Marathon Race Recap

  1. Ugh. I’m so sad this was cancelled, although I totally understand why it was. I’m also so glad you were able to “earn” your medal. This whole thing just feels so weird. I keep waiting to wake up from a bad dream.

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  2. I’m only signed up for one race in 2020 and even though it’s not til the end of June, I have a feeling it could be canceled or postponed. Just in wait & see mode.

    Not running in pain is always a good thing.

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  3. I’m planning on running all of my races (well, except for one) virtually on their originally scheduled race days. Most are postponed, so I will run them in “real time” on their new dates. Fun, right? We gotta make the best of this. Sorry for your big race getting cancelled, but you got it done as best you could 😉

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  4. I never thought about recapping a virtual race, lol, but my 19 miler on Saturday was pretty interesting, strategy-wise. I’m glad you were able to run your race virtually–it sounds like you made it work well. I wish the races that were cancelled would have shared our swag with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love how you got this done and that your foot is feeling so much better. Completing your planned race virtually gives you a real sense of accomplishment. Nicely done! One of these years, I will run the real NY half-maybe w you! Thanks for linking up

    Liked by 1 person

    • That would be great. I wonder when I’ll get in again.

      Yes. Doing races virtually is much more satisfying than just running for fun.

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  6. Yay Darlene! I am so happy that the foot pain is gone, that makes me so happy. At first I was like no way would I ever run a virtual race but now that it’s the only racing option I’m going to take a shot at a 5k, 10k, and half in the next few weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, I hadn’t heard that about someone taking a lot of the shirts and medals to sell on ebay 😦 That’s good news that you were able to get yours. And great job on completing the virtual race! Yay for no foot pain in the left foot, though that’s too bad about the Hokas not working out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My friend still has my medal. I’ll get it some time.

      I have a different pair of Hokas now. No pain. Still not sure if they’re right. Lol.

      Like

  8. So someone took extra shirts and medals to sell on eBay? Ugh, why would anyone do that? I also entered the lottery for this race but was not selected. I like that they offer a refund but not that if you defer that you have to pay again. I don’t like that at all. Thank you for linking up with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s funny, I’m content with being one and done with that race. Since they’ve changed it the last three years maybe it will be completely different (Again) if and when I run it again. I think you’ll run it before you’re 70.

    Liked by 1 person

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