Superfeet AmbassadorStephanie Ormond had planned to run the Boston Marathon this year but due to the coronavirus pandemic the race was cancelled. That didn’t stop her from participating virtually with many others around the world.
Congratulations on finishing the first-ever virtual Boston Marathon. What an accomplishment! Can you tell us more about what kept you motivated when you found out that the in-person race was cancelled?
When the race was originally postponed, I remember thinking, ‘Perfect! Fall in Boston will be beautiful and that will give us plenty of time to get a handle on things!’ By the time the race was officially cancelled, I had already been training for 5 months and there were zero guarantees of other races. Also, this is Boston and the first ever virtual race was not something I was going to miss!
Can you tell us more about your experience on race day? How did you choose your course?
We had planned to run OUR Boston Marathon on the valley floor in Yosemite. It just felt so California and is right in our backyard. The Creek Fire started a week before our planned race and as the week progressed the air quality deteriorated. We still wanted badly to keep to our plan but without the beautiful views, it could have been in an chimney so we came up with an alternative to run at the coast where the air might be marginally better and left it up in the air until the last minute. By the week’s end we landed on the charming coastal town of Carmel-by- the-Sea and I plotted out a route that circled the town and ran the entire coastal length of the famous 17 Mile Scenic Drive, past Pebble Beach and circling back at Lover’s Point.
The weather was perfect...50 degrees and foggy to start at 6am. We ran mostly along the ocean and saw deer, sea lions and an otter. There were a few other runners out that saw our bibs and knew about the Boston Marathon going virtual. The course is rolling and mostly on road but a few sections of trail. We stayed fogged in until the final two miles when the sun came out and we saw blue sky for the first time in weeks (since we have had several fires around homelately). We closed out our 9 months of training and finished our marathon at Carmel Beach and right into the Pacific Ocean.
Do you have any advice for our readers about how to adapt when things don’t go as expected?
If you keep your goals in focus, it’s just a matter of figuring out a different way to get there. If you’re training for a race and you sprain an ankle (true story) it doesn’t mean that all hope is lost for a PR. It simply means the training will look very different for a sec. Learning to keep a positive attitude and your goal(s) in clear focus will maintain any agility needed to continue forward motion.
What’s next for you?
I would love to know the answer. Right now, I’m in recovery mode and haven’t run in almost a week. I’ve been doing some cross training (spin & bootcamp) and plan to continue with that and add back running after a week off. Just easy miles for a while. I really struggle to train without a race on my schedule and this is the first time in seven years (since I started running) that I haven’t had a race to train for. I’ll likely spend the rest of 2020 running for the sunrises, the therapy, the conversations and just the joy of running.