Blah. Today’s run was terrible. I thought I was doing myself a favor by waiting until today to run, because yesterday’s weather was rainy. There were a few sprinkly breaks, but for the most part, there was either steady rain or all out downpours all day. And honestly, I just wasn’t feeling a rainy run yesterday. But today’s weather was equally special. Sure, the temps were only in the 70’s, and it was thankfully overcast, but with a humidity of 98%, it was uncomfortable. To top it off, the only appreciable breeze was the one I created myself. Sigh. When is fall coming, Virginia?
It’s nine mile runs like today’s that make me question my choice to run a marathon at all this season. I’m planning on running the Marine Corps Marathon in October with my best friend and anyone else who wants to join us on a course still undetermined. With all the changes with COVID-19, choices for running a marathon this fall are essentially all virtual. Or are they?
Sports Backers has announced that not only do we have an official course for the Richmond Marathon this year, they have also received approval for a chip timed, Boston qualifying event. If you haven’t heard, the course will run from Dorey Park in the eastern side of Henrico County and run on the Capital Trail toward Williamsburg, essentially an out and back. You can run the course anytime between November 7th and November 22nd, 5:00AM to 5:30PM each day.
Traditionally, Sports Backers Marathon Training Team coaches cannot run this race, but this year, we technically can! That being said, I do not plan to run two marathons this fall. I will, however, be out on the course supporting my team one of these days.
With the course open for that many days, think about the choices you have! You can literally pick your ideal weather conditions. If you aren’t from Richmond, the Capital Trail is fairly flat from Dorey Park and is relatively protected from cars. There are points where you will have to cross the road, but otherwise you are beside the road on a paved, multi-use path that is about 10’ wide.
Here’s more information:
- Chip timing will be provided by real chip bibs, crossing a timing mat, and verified via the RaceJoy app. This means you must carry your phone with you! One tip a fellow coach shared with me: turn your phone to airplane mode to preserve battery life if you are a slow runner like me!
- Water stops will be provided along the course every 2-4 miles from self-serve stations.
- Restrooms will be at the water stops.
- Marathon swag will be provided prior to race day, including the infamous race blanket, plus Nuun tablets and Honey Stinger gels for use on your chosen race day.
- Plenty of parking! Dorey Park has ample free parking, and without thousands of runners running the course at the same time, you can park stress free.
- Dorey Park is minutes from downtown hotels and attractions if you are interested in coming in from out of town to run this course.
Sure, the Richmond Marathon may look different this year. But it is happening… on a real course… with real timing! I’m grateful to Sports Backers for making the best of a tough racing year and am proud to continue to support this non-profit that gives so much back to the RVA. I’m also excited that Nuun is a sponsor! So if you’re looking for a BQ race, this is your chance! #RunRichmond
If you are local to the RVA, another Sports Backers program, Bike Walk RVA, is accepting applications to their fall Bike Walk Academy. They will teach you how to be an advocate for safer roads for biking, walking, and running. It’s a great program that I participated in myself a few years ago!
Are you running a marathon this fall, even if it’s a virtual race? If not, how has the pandemic affected your training? I’d love to hear about it! As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.