Photo from past, not virtual race

Alan Johnston, of Arizona, won the first ever VDOT Challenge with an 8:57 3k. His 66.7 VDOT was almost one point higher than the next competitor.

VDOT: What were you training for before shutdowns took place?

Alan: Before quarantine I’d been training to try to jump in some college meets unattached this spring, since in college I was injured a lot and often trained like an idiot, and didn’t improve in the 4 years.  Now I’m in grad school and training myself, and things are generally going better, so I wanted to see if I could finally knock out some of my PRs from 7-8 years ago.

VDOT: Where did you run the 3k and what was your plan going into it?

Alan: I ran it on a 3.03 km loop in my neighborhood that I’ve been running around every day for the last several weeks, so I thought I’d give it a go in a time trial situation.

VDOT: Any tips/advice on how to approach virtual racing?

Alan: I think in virtual racing visualization both before and during the race is even more important than usual.  I visualized the time trial as an actual race and tried to see spectators and competitors to race against in my mind’s eye, and that helped me push hard in spite of there being no one around but the parked cars and garbage bins on the side of the road that morning, haha.