Anthem Star 10K Blue Ridge Races - 2021 Virtual Race Recap

Several months into 2021 and "hybrid" racing is now the trend that some races have adopted.  In April 2021, I ran the Anthem Star 10K, part of the Foot Leveler's Blue Ridge Marathon weekend.  While I participated virtually, the race weekend also had in-person participants.  COVID-19 has made me a regular on the virtual racing scene, and, while you think each race weekend may be the same, each event has had a unique story - and this one was no different.

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Blue Ridge Marathon 10K as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

Anthem Star 10K Race Recap

Ever have a rough night before a race?  I've done some crazy things before - like running a 5K and half-marathon in the same 24 hour period (hello Frederick Running Festival Nut Job and Baltimore Running Festival Balti-moron-athon) and the 2AM race day wake-up calls courtesy of runDisney (if you runDisney regularly, you know what I mean!), but I don't think I've ever been as tired at the start of a race.  The night before, I got my gear laid out and I knew I was going to be waking up with an alarm as I needed to start around 6AM to finish in time for my husband to leave for an event he had that day.  I tucked into bed at my normal 10PM time unbeknownst that I would be waking up every 90 minutes to 2 hours throughout the night with a sick puppy.  I don't know what was going on with Tink, but she was up several times during the night with bouts of diarreaha.  My husband currently has a broken ankle so I'm the only one tending to these middle of the night walks.  Her final "wake-up" was at 5AM and, at that point, I figured - let's just do this.

Early Morning Virtual Start Line Vibes

Morning breakfast was a quick fig bar and I had to add on a long-sleeve layer under my BibRave shirt as it was a chilly April morning.  Armed with some upbeat music and a complete feeling like I was going to totally flop on this run, started trudging along.  If you know me at all, cold weather is not my jam and I love my sleep.  With this in mind, the first 2 miles were pretty rough.  I was dragging and not enjoying myself.  But as the sun started coming up, I decided to take a little walk break and fuel up with a GU and some water.  Whether it was the sunshine or the energy gel, I'm not really sure, but I got some pep in my step for the final miles and finished feeling way better than where I started.  I finished in 1:26:16 - not a great time, but actually pretty consistent with what I've been running for the past 12 months.  

The Anthem Star 10K Virtual Race Day Experience

This was the first "hybrid" event I've done and it was an interesting dynamic in the communication ahead of race day.  Obviously, with the need for so many new COVID protocols for in-person runners, that was the main focus of communication for Blue Ridge runners.  As a virtual race participant, I had the same email communications as in-person runners.  I felt connected to the event even though I wasn't there.  While I ran my race from Maryland on race day itself, virtual runners have the entire month of April to complete their event - the 10K, half-marathon, or marathon.  

I really enjoy the idea of virtual racing as I'm getting to run races from my neighborhood that I may not normally get to run in person.  The Blue Ridge Marathon weekend takes place in Roanoke though which is only 4 1/2 hours from my house so I'm hoping that next year I can try out this event with other runners tackling the Blue Ridge Mountains!  The event organizers are sending out swag after the April 30th end of the virtual race period and I can't wait to see my medal and shirt.  Be sure to follow me over on Instagram so you can catch a peek when it arrives!  

Check out more Blue Ridge Marathon Weekend Race Reviews from my fellow BibRave Pro Ambassadors!



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