(WAVY) — The pandemic has stopped so many running events over the spring, summer, and now the fall.
J&A Racing is responsible for a lot of them, which is why they’re getting creative making them virtual. It’s not ideal, but a way to keep on running, training and waiting for in-person racing to resume.
Streets packed with runners, post-race celebrations that last for hours — those are the hallmarks of J&A Racing, created by Jerry and Amy Frostick.
“We really just want to promote fitness and fun,” said Jerry Frostick.
They’ve been at it since 2003, expanding to seven events in three cities, welcoming more than 50,000 runners into Hampton Roads every year.
Unfortunately, that’s not something that can happen in a pandemic.
“Like nothing we could have ever even imagined,” said Frostick. “You know, it not only took away our livelihood, but also our passion and our enjoyment of seeing people accomplish things and celebrating, so it’s been really, really hard.”
The first hit came in March, when just seven days before the big Shamrock Marathon Weekend at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, they had to cancel the race.
Because set-up was already underway, they couldn’t offer refunds. They’ve changed that for upcoming in-person races, like the Norfolk Harbor Half Marathon race weekend.
They’ve also gotten creative with new, “virtual” challenges, ones that Frostick says people have really supported.
“After 20 years, it’s nice knowing that people know that we do care and even in this crazy time, they’re still choosing to support us,” Frostick said. “I wish we could reach out to each one of them and air hug them or just let me know that sincerely, we really, really appreciate the support.”
Frostick says canceling in-person racing has also impacted their charity partners and local businesses, so he’s asking for people to continue to extend their support as much as possible, as they work to bring racing back.
“Stay motivated, be kind, be positive, be kind to not just J&A Racing, to small businesses,” said Frostick.
Frostick hopes they can hold this year’s Shamrock Weekend in March as it would mark their 20th. He also says they are hoping to hold the Bayport Credit Union Surf-n-Santa 5 Miler in December. They are giving themselves until Nov. 15 to make that decision.