Make no mistake about it. Running a 'virtual' marathon is still a tremendous amount of work. In fact, I'll say it is more difficult than running the 'real thing.' I completed the virtual Twin Cities Marathon in early October. The event usually is held the first weekend of the month with a variety of running and walking events. This year it was shifted to a virtual format.

As I made my way around a loop that my daughter found for me in Minneapolis, I was heartened by others who were also running their own versions of the marathon. I saw several people hold their own 'finishes,' as my family helped me do as well.

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My first marathon was the Twin Cities last year. I was pretty intimidated by the task, but all the runners giving me encouragement helped. The thousands of fans who lined the streets (along with a few friends and family members) made it possible to complete the 26.2-mile trek from US Bank Stadium to the capital in St. Paul.

My 2020 running calendar has included virtual runs along the Pacific Ocean, across the state of Iowa, around the University of MN campus, and a one-way scamper from St. Paul to the South Dakota border. I am still waiting for a virtual ride home from that one.

I signed up for a half in Santa Cruz because we were going to visit friends in San Jose in May. Of course the trip fell through, but I still got a cool shirt and medal. Relay Iowa is an extreme (and extremely fun) team event that I stumbled upon a few years ago and now look forward to. It's a run/party/roughing-it adventure.

The first event 'lost' this year was Goldy's Run which raises money for a children's hospital. A couple of years ago PJ Fleck provided the motivational lead off to the run. That was great.

For those looking for an in-person run, Infants Remembered in Silence is hosting their annual Turkey Trot in Faribault on Thanksgiving Day. A virtual component also exists to benefit the cause for those not comfortable with being there in person due to the pandemic or the chance it might be really cold.

I read an inspiring piece in Runner's World magazine recently about running streaks. It calmed me to know I'm not the only one a little off his (or her) rocker. My run streak is at 22 months as of mid October.