Virginia Beach woman runs solo marathon, family holds virtual opening ceremony

Posted at 4:03 PM, Apr 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-15 21:09:17-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Anna Cochran has been an avid runner for years.

From local community races to the Boston Marathon, it feels like she's covered almost every roadway from Hampton Roads to Richmond.

She was in the middle of training for this year's Boston Marathon when the coronavirus pandemic shut down nearly the whole country. Realizing she could take this as a setback or motivation forward, she chose the latter.

The 28-year-old stayed on track with training, just taking social distancing into account when she chose her routes.

On April 11, she laced up her shoes like she always does and pounded the pavement even though she was solo.

Knowing her family couldn't be there physically be there with her, they decided to get creative. They held a virtual opening ceremony for Anna with flags, music and signs.

"By mile 23 and 24 I had been running by myself the whole day, [and] those are really hard for me, so I actually pulled out my phone to watch a couple of the videos and I could finish," she says.

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Her fiancé, Jake, and friends also parked along the route, acting as a cheering squad because the route was void of water stations and mile-after-mile encouragement.

"I think that’s what really inspired me the most to finish was, you know, it wasn’t fact I was running this marathon; it was the fact that all of these people were supporting me," she says.

Although the race wasn't what she planned, it's a great reminder that even in quarantine we can achieve our goals. With the help of technology, her family's virtual opening ceremony was just the added boost Anna needed.

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