Race Recap: The Sports Backers Half Marathon

Yesterday, I ran the Sports Backers Half Marathon. We had beautiful weather! My best friend Patty convinced me to sign up a while ago, and, although our winter training did have a few hiccups, we managed to comfortably finish the half in about 3 hours. My PR is 2:21, but I haven’t been training nearly that fast lately. It is what it is. So, the goal was to stick together and simply have fun.

Patty and I running the course! Photo courtesy of Steve Yancey.

If you aren’t familiar with Sports Backers, they are a large non-profit in Richmond that puts on stellar races, most notably the Richmond Marathon in November and the Monument 10k in the spring. They know how to organize a race! The profits from events like these get funneled into community programs like Kids Run RVA and the Fitness Warriors to support their mission of promoting active and healthy lifestyles in the Richmond area. 

With the giant bike at Four Mile Park along the Virginia Capital Trail. Photo courtesy of Steve Yancey.

This race is new this year, and there was a marathon course and 5k as well. It roughly followed the course that Sports Backers used from Dorey Park along the Virginia Capital Trail last year for the Richmond Marathon races, as the format needed to change due to the pandemic. For this race, they kept the window when you could run to 3 days instead of a couple of weeks. They also tweaked the course a bit, which Patty and I really liked. There was an out and back that took you past Dorey Park that was tacked onto the end of last year’s race, but they made that part first this year. Mentally, that was better for me! They also had Nunn on the course!

Mile 12! The end was near…

As far as the weather is concerned, we couldn’t have asked for better. Yes, it was chilly at the start in the upper 30’s, but it warmed up pretty quickly, and was well into the 50’s at the end of our run. It was sunny, but with a nice, gentle breeze, and so whenever you started to feel hot, that breeze would come along and cool you down. 

Crossing the finish line! Photo courtesy of Steve Yancey.

Patty’s partner, Steve, joined us for the last 3ish miles of our run with their dog, Finn! Finn was adept at warning us about all the squirrels and enjoyed leading his pack! Steve also took some great pictures for us.

With Finn at the finish! Photo courtesy of Steve Yancey.

Overall, I think Sports Backers has made the best of the pandemic, creating fun virtual races, endurance challenges with teams, and adapting their live race formats to make some of these possible. Even though we didn’t have the big crowds to encourage us on the course, we did see lots of friends on our run! It was so nice to actually run a real race!

Later yesterday afternoon, I got to visit with my neighbor’s German Shepherd puppies! Mama had a litter of 11! Can you imagine? Anyway, they were absolutely precious! If you want to follow their adventures and soak up some adorableness, check out my neighbor’s blog, Shepherd Sight. I promise her content will lift your spirits!

Puppy snuggles are the best!

Have you run any virtual or modified races during the pandemic? I’d love to hear about it! As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.

Published by annecreates

I am a physical therapist, wife, mom, runner, artist, and vegan. I'm passionate about helping others find wellness! Assistant Coach for the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team. Current ambassador for: Nuun, Switch4Good, and Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon 2021.

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