This weekend, the University of Delaware’s Club Cross Country team started the 2020 cross country season in a way no hen, blue or otherwise, could have ever predicted. The new normal of virtual races is sweeping the running community as competitors seek to test themselves even without the promise of a pre-race corral or post-race festival. Our opening invite featured 20 blue hens racing against Duke University’s (somewhat measly) turnout of five blue devils in a virtual 5k.
Junior Morgan Gallagher placed first overall for the women with a time of 20:03, paced by her boyfriend and done along the scenic Hudson River. Following her race, Gallagher reported, “Not an easy run but I definitely surprised myself.”
Senior Emily Magoon, a veteran runner, and solo running expert surprised herself as well, not just with her time of 22:11, but with how she was able to stay focused throughout. Her tips for those running virtual races: “Wear your race day outfit, imagine your support squad cheering,” and “imagine you’re in a pack or chasing the next pack.” Thanks, Emily!
For the boy’s team, sophomore Sasha Latina snagged first place in a time of 16:27- a 35 second PR! “I have been working my a** off this summer,” Latina said, “and everything finally clicked.”
Junior Schuyler Reed crossed the (virtual) line just 20 seconds after Latina (virtually!) in a time of 16:47. Freshman Cam Harrington rounded out the boy’s top three with a time of 17:13.
“This was the first hard effort for me in a long time,” Harrington said, “so it was exciting and felt good to get out and push it again.”
Next up for us is a virtual 5k against the Minnesota Running Club on September 26th- stay tuned to see who would win in a fight: blue chickens or golden gophers.