Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Virtual Women’s half marathon to review 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!
It’s been a bit since I’ve run a race as a BibravePro. Last fall, I did the Texas Distance Challenge with Bibrave, but an actual race? I think the 24 hour Global Relay on National Running Day last summer was the last one I was able to do. So when Bibrave offered me the chance to run the Virtual Women’s Half Marathon, I told them that not only would I run the half marathon they offered, but I would run ALL THREE RACES!
The Virtual Women’s Half Marathon offered a half marathon distance, a 10k, and/or a 5k. A Combo of any two races for the double challenge and all three races comprise the Triple Challenge. The half marathon was designated at 7 am on Saturday, with the second race of your choosing at 7 am on Sunday. One thing I really enjoyed is that the race director gave a send-off at the top of the hour for each time zone. You could watch her live video on Instagram, then start your race. I really appreciated this attempt at a community start.
The Virtual Women’s Half Marathon Swag
For the Triple Challenge the swag bag included:
The Virtual Women’s Half Marathon Medals
Can we talk about how adorable these medals are? Each race had its own medal, with the half marathon being the largest of the three and then going down in size for the 10k and 5k distances. All the medals came with a cute detachable charm. (I’ll probably leave mine attached.) Sadly, my Half Marathon medal had the detachable charm but was missing the connection link when they came in the mail. Still, really cute design, and I love the flower theme.
Saturday: The Half Marathon
For my virtual races, I try to do the same things I would do for a normal race. So, I pulled out all my gear and laid out everything I needed for in the morning. That way I can grab everything and get out the door with my breakfast and cup of coffee. I mean, what half marathon is complete without the flat runner the night before??
Saturday was such a gorgeous day for a half marathon. I started a few minutes earlier than the send-off because I had plans afterward and needed to finish by 9 am. I watched the East Coast start video, then headed out onto my favorite local greenbelt trail for my solo 13.1 miles.
The original plan was to tempo around a 10-minute mile. This is a little faster than my typical easy pace but considerately lower than my race pace for half marathons. (My personal best is around 1:55.) It had been humid all week and I was anticipating similar weather that morning and had planned my pace accordingly. However, after a few miles, I felt really great and starting pulling faster and faster negative splits. I ended up finishing my virtual half marathon at 2:01:47! I’m ecstatic with my finishing time for the half. Way faster than I was expecting for South Texas in Mid-April.
Sunday 10K and 5K Virtual Races
For my Sunday Races, I did the 10K and 5K races back to back. Since I had used my local greenbelt the day before I decided a change of scenery was needed. So Sunday morning I drove downtown with a planned run through main San Antonio, and down onto the Mission Trail south of town.
First off, I found a new mural on the riverwalk! If you look closely, it’s not even finished. They’re still filling in the faces, but of course, I could NOT not take a picture, right?
Second, I made a mistake. I KNEW there was a live race in town that day. What I did not know is that they were using the Mission trail. (I should have checked but I assumed they would be on street level). It ended up that I was running against the flow of a huge half marathon for about two miles before I decided to veer off and use some side streets for my way back.
On the positive side, I saw a lot of good friends running this race! But it felt odd to be running in the same direction with my own different bib and gear, so I took a detour on my way back to enjoy my own race.
I finished the Women’s 10K and 5K back to back! (That’s 9.3 miles) For a total of 22.4 miles for the weekend. Not the most insane weekend mileage I have ever done, but definitely, way more than I do normally this time of year. I kept my two medals in the car for a quick celebration.
And just like with any race I finish. There must be a FINISHER’S BEER! I planned the end of my 10k+5k combined race to end right next to a local brewery so that I could try their new Saison.
In a world where there are tons of different virtual races to chose from, I’m really glad I did the Virtual Women’s Triple Challenge. The swag is great, the medals are adorable (and functional), and the race directors’ do their best to create a community for all the runners involved. I hear they will be doing another race in the fall that I would recommend joining.
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Also Check out the other Bibrave Pros who ran this race including: