2021 didn’t find me toeing the line at as many races as in most years, but you can bet that I appreciated each race that was held live after running 100% of my races virtually in 2020. In fact, I spent most of 2020 rehabbing from an injury which resulted in me walking all but one of my races, making me extra appreciative that I could not only run, but push myself at all of my 2021 races.



5 5K’s
5 Total Races
2 Virtual Races
3 In-Person Races
5 Local Races/0 Destination Races
2 Age Group Placings
15.5 Racing Miles
2:09:49 Spent Racing
8:21 Average Pace
Endless Fun



2021 Virtual New Year’s Day 5K

My 2021 racing season started off with a bang when I virtually ran the New Year’s Day 5K. I chose to run the race on my little neighborhood circle where I run most of my pre-dawn training runs. Like a familiar race course, I knew how to pace myself on its two hills and hoped for a good performance on my very own course. Sticking with tradition, I opted to run the race on New Year’s Day even though I had a three-day window for completing the race.

How did I do? I don’t know how I finished within my age group because age groups weren’t broken down (nor were ages published), but after a mostly injured 2020, I was thrilled with my results.

  • • 25:33 (8:10 pace)


Courage Day 5K

Wanting to support my friend’s non-profit organization, The Courage Closet, which provides support for sexual assault and abuse survivors; and run in my first live race in seventeen months, I happily registered for the Courage Day 5K.

The trail course was a rarity for a 5K and while the course was hilly, it wasn’t technical and I loved every second of running it. Seeing so many of my running friends was such a treat and I left feeling quite happy.

How did I do? I was the 7th female overall to finish, but still finished 4th in my age group – my age group was 11 to 99. LOL If there had been a 60-69 year old age group, I would have won it.

  • • 25:23 (8:11 pace)


2021 Firecracker 5K

I held off on registering for the Firecracker 5K until I got approval from my dermatologist to run the race just two days after having a squamous cell carcinoma removed from the top of my left shoulder. He gave me his blessings as long as I didn’t swing my left arm while running and I tried my best to follow the good doctor’s orders.

How did I do? Running conservatively cost me a second place age group finish, but I happily settled for third.

  • • 26:31 (8:32 pace)


2021 Virtual Kickoff to Kinnick 5K

I’d assumed that virtual racing was behind me since in-person races were once again common place, but when the opportunity to run the Virtual Kickoff to Kinnick 5K with Kim became a reality, I jumped at the chance. Not only would I be able to run with my friend, but I’d be able to help support children diagnosed with cancer at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, a win-win.

How did I do? This race was all about having fun and Kim and I chatted the entire time, and even so, we finished with a very respectable time.

  • • 27:26 (8:50 pace)


2021 Ashburn Farm Thanksgiving Day 5K

Thrilled to be back at one of my favorite annual races, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. It was cool and crisp, by body felt great, and I ran strong. Even though I had to stop and retie my shoelace just after the first mile, I didn’t let it upset me and kept my head in the race.

How did I do? Despite the shoelace debacle and losing 24 seconds while stopped to retie it, I finished with a 7:59 pace on my Garmin (affiliate link) (3.08 miles versus 3.1); however, a speedy 60-year-old ran a 7:14 pace putting me in second place in the 60-64 age group.

  • • 24:56 (8:03 pace)


Final Thoughts

This look back at my 2021 year of racing has brought the second year of our pandemic into perspective with many races still being held virtually.  I was lucky that I didn’t have my heart set on running an in-person race that turned virtual at the last minute. Who knows what 2022 will bring, but hopefully it will bring mostly in-person races with an option for running virtually. Whatever the case, I’ll continue to register for my favorite races and hope to see my friends doing the same!


  • • How did your racing year end? What was your in-person versus virtual ratio?
  • • How many races do you plan to run next year?
  • • Are you running in a New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day race?