I'm going to be honest. I signed up for this race because of the sweet SWAG! In the virtual race era that has absolutely exploded due to Covid, I find that signing up for virtual races fuels my motivation to run consistently. Pre-Covid, I would sign up for races based on the location more than anything. Since I choose to only run virtual races until I am fully vaccinated, the location of the virtual races is always here in St. Louis County, although I may drive across the river to St. Charles County from time to time for a little variety. There are no runcations right now, so the SWAG matters more now than ever before!
This particular race was put on by a company called Racemaker Productions, based just outside of Indianapolis in Plainfield. In 2014 I ran their Litchfield Route 66 Half Marathon in Litchfield, Illinois and ABSOLUTELY loved it! I have followed them on social media for years now so when they posted pictures of their SWAG options for the LoveStruck 5k, I immediately fell in love! I'm guessing that was their intent....
Their in-person race took place in downtown Indianapolis on February 13th. Virtual runners complete the 5k anytime between February 13 and 28th. My intent is always to run virtual races outdoors but the St. Louis area was hit with a snowstorm on February 14th and temperatures stayed WELL below freezing for several days afterwards, so I opted for completing the mileage on a treadmill on February 16th. So although the scenery was limited to watching traffic attempting to drive in the slushy remains of the snowstorm, I can honestly say that I would not have been motivated to run a 5k that day had I not had a virtual race to complete.
Those who know me (or read my blog regularly) know that I consider it bad luck to wear the race shirt (or even wash it) before completing the distance. So as soon as I completed the virtual 5k on February 16th, I laid out the SWAG to take a few pictures before washing the hoodie. My cat had to get in on the photo shoot as you can see below. I also opted for the blue hoodie because I rarely wear pink.