With no crowd, motivation comes from within for virtual Grandma’s Marathon runners

Runners face a number of challenges this year at the Grandma's Marathon. With the race going virtual, motivation coming from the crowd is no more.

"I do think that's going to be the bigger challenge because you won't have the crowds cheering you on," said Tony Stensland, a local running coach.

Stensland advises those running a virtual race to toward the ones you can count on.

"If you can utilize friends and family members to be your cheer squad, that helps a lot," added Stensland.

But for those riding solo, Stensland advises them to take a more mental approach.

"If you don't have some people to help you and you really are solo. Maybe just dig down deep and stay focused. Maybe run each mile for a person that's close to you," said Stensland.

Social media is another helpful tool as runners can connect with those as they do the race.

"If you have your cell phone with you, let people know you are doing this at this certain time and maybe they are going to be texting you along the way. This is a virtual race, so some of the rules and some of the etiquettes kind of go out the window. Try to make it fun and a enjoyable experience for yourself," added Stensland.

Creating your own race experience will only pay dividens in the end.

"If you know where your finish line is, sidewalk chalk a finish line on it, write finish, maybe motivational quotes along the road with sidewalk chalk, So little things like that where you can really personalize it for yourself. It's a great idea and it really adds to the experience," said Stensland.

Stensland also encouraged runners to make their race a personal experience because, in the end, it will be unique compared to other races.

posted Saturday June 20th