Professor of Art Shannon Johnstone and two other Meredith faculty members, Associate Professor of Sociology Amie Hess and Professor of Religious & Ethical Studies Steven Benko participated in a “Social Distance” running race on April 18. Benko ran this race as his 46th marathon. Hess and her family, including her 14-year old daughter, participated in the half marathon. Johnstone ran the majority of the marathon on the treadmill.
The race was called “Persistance Social Distance 6-Hour Marathon (or half)” and it was a free event sponsored by Carolina Godiva,” Johnstone explained. “Runners chose either marathon or half marathon distance, but the running was broken up into six separate runs of 4.367 miles (or 2.183 miles). Runners could only run one 4.367 (or 2.183) segment each hour from 9 a.m.–3 p.m., which totaled up to 26.2 miles (or 13.1). Awards were given to the fastest, slowest, median runners, along with the runner who accumulated the most mileage, and ran the most laps throughout the day.”
Unlike virtual races, this event required participants to come together via Zoom video conference after each running segment. Results were complied from Strava and converted into the race format by a software program that Johnstone’s husband, Anthony Corriveau, wrote.
“For me, the socializing in between running was the fun part.,” Johnstone said. “We would watched the results from each lap load, analyze who was in what place and what we would need to do to run our own fastest lap, encouraged each other, and/or talked smack. It was this synchronous format that made our race truly unique and made this a “social distance race” rather than a virtual run or virtual race.”