The 2020 Encinitas Half Marathon was one to remember. We got to pick the time we started the race, what day we RAN the race and who I (we) ran with. Parking was super easy to find, they put me in the first corral (thanks!) and it was very relaxing. Although the “on course entertainment” and refreshments were quite lacking. And, it turns out I ran by myself. Well, actually not totally by myself, I talked my buddy Justin into running it with me.
I am not sure how the conversation started but when when I got home from my previous two races (see South Carolina & North Carolina) somehow my buddy Justin and I got into a conversation about the trip. And, somehow we loosely discussed plans to run this race together. And, then two things happened.
First off, I got diagnosed with Ectopic Atrial Rhythm which is an irregular heart beat not all that uncommon in endurance athletes. And, as a point of interest I am not self describing myself as an endurance athlete. I am more of a Forrest Gump athlete. If I was going somewhere? “I WAS RUNNING!”
In case you were curious, this ectopic atrial rhythm next level SUCKS. It has led to a doctor visit, a trip to the emergency room, me having a cardiologist, 10 or so ECG’s (and counting), 1 echocardiogram and prescriptions for beta blockers, anti-arrhythmic meds and more. Feeling your heart flutter and feeling like you’re having a 24 hour a day anxiety attack. Fantastic stuff.
The second thing that got in the way of us running this race is a little bugger called the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This is otherwise known as Covid-19 and was the reason for most everything in the world being cancelled for the foreseeable future. Including THIS RACE. Somehow, someway, I (we) have to make this happen. And, we did!
The Rise of the Virtual Half Marathon
I think you can always find the silver lining in the cloud if you look hard enough. And, one of the cool things that has happened with running events during the “Covid Era” is that they have largely gone virtual. Instead of jamming into a crowd of heavy breathing possibly Covid-19 infected folks, you can run any time, anywhere, with anyone! And The Encinitas Half was on the forefront of this movement.
As soon as I saw that they offered this as an option, I signed up. What the hell. And, I also nudged Justin to sign up. And, he did. And, then I just needed to find a weekend morning that we could get together, stay social distanced, keep away from other people, try to keep my ectopic atrial rhythm from flaring up and get it done!
May 2nd, 2020 @ 6:00 a.m. it is. Turns out that day has some meaning.
The Race & The Winging Anniversary
We wanted to make this as AUTHENTIC as possible so we grabbed a screen shot of the race map and intended to follow it EXACTLY. Yup, a tad lame. But, I figure if we’re going to do it, let’s do it right. And turns out this day had additional meaning, who knew!
Turns out that Justin, who is a pilot graduated from flight school on May 2nd and got his wings. Thats a good reason to run and celebrate. And, one more thing, Justin who I figured ran 20 miles daily had never run a half marathon before! So, a celebration, a first time accomplishment and generally just a fun morning out running in San Diego.
The race was great! We followed the map PRECISELY, had some good conversation and even got cheered on by my wife and kids who somehow tracked us down around mile 12.
Good day all around but let’s hope next year is NOT virtual. I miss the crappy parking, big crowds and even the two slow runners/walkers I ALWAYS end up behind who somehow decide that the VERY FRONT of Corral 1 is the place to be despite running 15 minute miles.
See you soon Encinitas Half Marathon!