Another virtual race complete: The Salisbury Half Marathon

Selfie of Vanessa Junkin showing and wearing race bib.
Here I am with my race bib before I started the race.

Two weeks after the virtual Shamrock Dolphin Challenge, I was out on the streets of Salisbury for another virtual race — the Salisbury Half Marathon.

Before the in-person race was canceled along with events throughout the country, I wanted to run a fast-for-me half on the flat Salisbury course, ideally hoping to beat the 2:18 I ran at the unofficial Pemberton Half in December. However, after doing a run-walk for my Shamrock Half Marathon, I figured it would be a good idea to do the run-walk again for my virtual Salisbury Half.

I hadn’t been dealing with the shin pain as much, but I had been having a lot of problems with coughing. Thankfully, that has gotten better with the use of a generic Flonase, as recommended by my doctor. I don’t get allergies every year, but of course, I get them when there’s a pandemic going around with a symptom of coughing. I never felt sick or had a fever.

I ran the virtual half marathon the afternoon of the actual race day, Saturday, April 4. Since I live so close to the course, I decided to run the course, although the virtual run could be done from anywhere. I walked a half-mile to the start and noticed how empty the start line area was.

Race bib and medal for the virtual Salisbury Half Marathon
Participants were mailed their bibs and finisher medals.

I started out wearing the new Knockaround sunglasses I’m testing, but it was pretty overcast and they really were not needed, so I tucked them into a pocket. I listened to podcasts to keep the run more interesting.

I did the same run-walk intervals as I did for the virtual Shamrock Half — four minutes running and one minute walking — but I tried to speed the running portions up a little bit to try to get a faster time. I was able to do that, finishing five minutes faster than my time for the Virtual Shamrock race.

Island Creamery sign reads: 


Here’s an inspirational sign at Island Creamery.

One of the many benefits of an in-person race is the closed course — you don’t have to worry about waiting for cars to cross the road. There was only one part where I had to wait for cars: when I crossed Snow Hill Road. Since I had 13.11 miles on my watch before I crossed Mill Street to head to Downtown Salisbury, I also stopped my watch there so I wouldn’t have to wait for cars at that intersection.

I did see a handful of other people out walking on the roads, and when I saw someone else, I crossed to the other side of the street to give us both space.

I took a photo of the sign I saw at Island Creamery, which read “Together we will make it,” and then I took out my phone for a photo again on Riverside Drive, where I saw some Tiger King-inspired chalk art, which read “Carol def did it.”

Chalk message with a tiger and the words "Carol def did it."
You never know what kind of message you may find on the sidewalk!

I was taking a photo of the timely message and the guy who lived in the house was actually on the porch, watching me take a photo. We talked very briefly (from a distance).

I finished the run in 2:37:35 and walked about a mile back to my house.

Race Director Jason Chance sent participants their medals, bibs and safety pins, and I wore the bib during the run.

I had free entry to this race as the coach — I wrote training plans, check in with the group and provide advice if there are questions I can answer. I also was excited that this was a BibRave partner race this year and did additional promotion through BibRave.

All entrants have a free deferral to 2021 — or 2022 if they prefer. I am looking forward to running this race in 2021 and enjoying the full race experience!

If you’re interested in running next year, join the Facebook group here.

Selfie of Vanessa Junkin smiling and holding medal.
Here I am with my finisher medal after completing the virtual race on April 4.


Mile 1: 11:12
Mile 2: 11:42
Mile 3: 12:03
Mile 4: 11:38
Mile 5: 11:35
Mile 6: 12:52 (included waiting for cars and eating chews)
Mile 7: 11:40
Mile 8: 11:57
Mile 9: 12:15
Mile 10: 12:03
Mile 11: 12:53
Mile 12: 12:16
Mile 13: 12:11
Last part (.11): 1:11 (10:48 pace)
Time: 2:37:35 / 12:01 average pace

7 thoughts on “Another virtual race complete: The Salisbury Half Marathon

  1. Nice job on the 2 halfs–happy to hear you did so well on the Salisbury one, using those R/W intervals. I use them too and I have had great success with it. I’ve been participating in a few virtual challenges–I never was a fan of virtual races until now. They’ve give structure to my training and help me stay on track. I am running a virtual half in 2 weeks.

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  2. Not a fan of virtual races but I plan on running a virtual half marathon and 5K next weekend. This will be in place of the Boston Marathon and BAA 5K.
    My running club organized these virtual races. We are buying gift cards from local restaurants and stores as awards for ourselves or to donate to workers at our local hospital.
    Should be interesting!

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