We are so excited to be hosting next weekendís Ocean State Rhode Race! While much of the race will look different from what we normally do, or how we would really want it to be, we are just so happy to be able to race.
Running has always been therapy for us: Mind-clearing, soul-searching, trouble-shooting, therapy. It is a rare occasion that we have come in from a run and not felt better. Not only do we know that running, ie physical activity and outdoor exercise, is the best way to counteract the virus, we also believe that a road race is one of the best ways we can model and celebrate health in the COVID era.
We are constantly surrounded by talk of sickness these days – physical, mental, etc. I donít know about you but sometimes it is all that is on the news, I are overwhelmed with it all and start to have phantom symptoms! ūüôĀ But to counteract that, I have always done what is best for my physical and mental health – go outside and run to escape from it all!
So we are viewing this race as a Celebration of Health, a run to heal, a run to celebrate life! While there are some restrictions and change from what we have grown accustomed to in a road race, it is at its essence just the purest form of exercise and physical fitness. The race is not just a chance for us to show that we can safely bring back road racing, but also it is a day for us to celebrate healthy lifestyles and showcase how lucky we all are to be able to have strength in our legs to run, breath in our lungs to test ourselves and a heart that beats to the love of our sport.
So much of our lives have been restricted and controlled in recent months. But everything that happens from that starting line to the finish line are completely within our control – our pace, our attitude, our focus and our desire to finish strong. To be in control of our minds and our bodies. That feels a bit rare these days. It reminds me about a few lines in my favorite running poem:
IN A WORLD WHERE I OFTEN FEEL HELPLESS, VICTIMIZED AND CONTROLLED,
RUNNING HELPS REVIVE FEELINGS OF HOPE, STRENGTH AND CONVICTION
THAT I CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND I CAN BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ME.
Part of our mission is to inspire a healthy and active lifestyle. We can show that road races are essential, that running = therapy. That this is the simplest form of health and wellness – legs moving, heart pumping, air flowing, life confirming. While we know that this wonít look like our traditional Rhode Race, and we are certainly struggling with that – we have learned that being able to host any race is a gift right now – just as life itself is.
Virtual races have a place and a purpose and are a new definition of events. We will likely have hybrid races for the foreseeable future as virtual events have some great aspects to them. We believe that we can be together through in-person and virtual events, achieve our personal goals, celebrate our fitness and set new records. We have learned that they have a spot in our event planning and we are constantly learning how to make them better and more connected. They will allow participants to be a part of an event, celebrate their fitness and foster their self-achievement even if other factors are preventing them from being actually standing on a starting line with others.
But we are so happy to be able to set up a starting and finish line for you: To help you run a beautiful course, meet that time goal that you have set and just be a part of your finish joy. And we are so happy to show the world (or at least our community) that a road race is the best way to represent our health and our well-being.
Run with joy and appreciation – we are truly lucky!