TBK Bank Quad Cities Marathon Virtual Race Weekend Raises the Bar
MOLINE, IL – From a drive-thru packet pickup, to street art, individual starts, and Beatles cardboard cutouts, the TBK Bank 2020 Virtual Quad Cities Marathon was prepared to entertain runners while executing a safe, colorful virtual marathon series in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
2020 Virtual Quad Cities Marathon Running Events – The Quad Cities Marathon Virtual Race Series offered a marathon, half marathon, and 5K event to be run anywhere between September 1–27, 2020. On what would have been the full race weekend of events September 26–27, the Quad Cities Marathon committee felt it was important to offer runners the option to run along the scenic river in the spirit Quad Cities Marathon. Runners could also choose to defer their 2020 race entry to 2021 at a discounted price. Prior to the virtual running period, runners had the option to have their exclusive 2020 bib mailed and personalized. Additionally, runners who registered and finished any race in all three virtual events of the Firecracker Run, Freedom Run, and Quad Cities Marathon received a commemorative "Quad Cities Challenge" Gold Coaster.
For those who were local or close enough to make the trip, several distance options were mapped out for runners to still experience a bit of what makes the QCM special. The start/finish
line towered over runners as they began the designated routes from the TaxSlayer Center parking lot in downtown Moline. The QCM committee wanted to offer several pre-measured courses for runners to enjoy if they didn’t already have a planned route.
Participants had the opportunity to run east or west along the river and cross the Centennial Bridge into Iowa. Street artists from Quad Cities Arts arrived days before the event to paint mile markers along the routes.
Several pacers reported to the start line between 6 a.m. and noon on September 26 and 27 to lead small groups of runners along multiple planned routes. Many runners arrived throughout the morning individually, in small groups, and from local and distant running clubs to run their individual distances. Other runners chose to start at different locations and end up at the finish line for that photo opportunity that they’ve been waiting for all year. Runners were greeted by cardboard cutouts grinning at them as they started and finished their races. Howell Photographic Arts captured hundreds of celebratory photos along the course and at the finish line between Saturday and Sunday. Proceeds continued to benefit the Us Too Prostate Cancer Initiative, Shoes for QC Kids, and Charity Bib Program.
Your Race, Your Pace
Runners crossed the finish line sporting the unique 2020 T-shirt with the sleeve reading “Your Race, Your Pace”. This year’s slogan allowed participants to run from their destination of choice. In fact, 32 states and five countries had participants representing the Quad Cities Marathon.
After finishing their races, runners were encouraged to submit their times via the Quad Cities Marathon mobile app. Laughter echoed in downtown Moline as runners used the app’s customized selfie filters including a filter of a signature high-five from race director Joe Moreno.
“The virtual event was a huge success,” said Moreno, “beginning with the concept of going virtual, from graphic designs to sponsorships, website, race app, social media campaign, marketing, promotions, commercials, swag, packet prep and pick up, and finally, race weekend set up and operations. We learned so much about our organization, how to be creative, improvise, resourceful, yet stay within the pandemic guidelines.”
The 2021 TBK Bank Quad Cities Marathon will mark the marathon weekend’s 24th year since the first run. Runners can set their goals by registering for the 2021 race at the following link: https://www.qcmarathon.org/
About Quad Cities Marathon
Since the first race in 1998, The TBK Quad Cities Marathon has become a Midwest favorite. Touching five cities, three bridges, two states, and one island this hometown favorite draws runners from all over the country for a weekend full of activities leading up to the big event on Sunday. In 2019, the TBK Bank Quad Cities Mel Foster Co. Half Marathon was recognized as Best Half Marathon in Illinois by RaceRaves.
The TBK Quad Cities Marathon is made possible by our dedicated race committee. Through countless hours of meticulous planning, our team works alongside city leadership, local law enforcement, and hundreds of volunteers to make sure that the course is ready for you to run your best race yet! Sure, it’s a lot of work, but we wouldn’t have it any other way!