If you were going to run a race this spring but the pandemic cancelled your plans, you can still cross a finish line—you’ll just be by yourself, cheered on by a virtual crowd.
The Marine Corps Marathon Organization has refashioned its Marine Corps Historic Half so that runners can participate virtually. Even though the original in-person May 17 event in Fredericksburg has been cancelled, as well as the the five-mile Semper 5ive and 18.1-mile Devil Dog Double races, runners can still complete the races on their own.
Even cooler: The hosts have partnered with the the race-day app Motigo so that runners can listen to special audio messages as they run. When a runner hits a certain mile marker, they’ll hear information about the landmarks or historic spots they’d be passing if they were actually running the race in Fredericksburg.
They’ll also get to hear the race emcee make the official starting line announcements, get cheered on via prerecorded messages from folks like race director Rick Nealis or Fredericksburg mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw, and have their own family and friends record messages for them. And you can use the app while you listen to music on your phone, so you don’t have to sacrifice your race playlist.
While folks don’t have to run the race on the original May 15 weekend, they do have to complete it by May 21. Virtual runners will still receive a participant shirt, medal, and certificate. Those who have already signed up to run the original race can still transfer to run the race virtually, or they can defer participation to next year’s race, if they’d like.