Just like the Ashland Half Marathon, this is another super hot summer race that I love to hate! And just like last year’s rebranding of the Patrick Henry Half to the Ashland Half made me sign up to run for the new swag, the promise of a pair of Goodr sunglasses was just enough temptation to lure me in for this race series.
This is an event that we strongly encourage our runners on our marathon training teams to participate in. It gives you not only the opportunity to get one of your 3 mile runs from the training schedule completed, but also some practice racing. This event typically attracts a few pretty talented athletes, too!
Held on the first 3 Monday evenings in July, the Richmond Road Runners Club hosts this race series in the Wyndham neighborhood in Henrico County. As you can imagine, conditions are typically hot and humid, and may even be interrupted by thunderstorms. This year, we kind of lucked out. Conditions for the first two nights were really decent for Virginia summers! Low to mid 80’s with fairly low humidity. But the final night was brutal: 93 degrees with 50% humidity with a feels-like temperature of 102 degrees. Yikes!
Despite all of the challenges of this race, I managed to run all 3 nights without stopping to walk. I surprised myself! The course winds in and out 3 cul de sacs. I only see the leaders in that first loop. After that, they make so much headway, I never see them again. After navigating those, we traverse some long, gentle hills to make our way back to the start/finish at a local elementary school.
At the finish, we were rewarded with fresh cut watermelon from Hanover Vegetable Farm, ice pops from Lucky Road Run Shop, cold towels, a cooling station, and Gratisfied bars. But the real reward came after running all 3 races. Those Goodr sunglasses were worth it! If you are an RRRC member, the series costs $20. The retail value of the glasses is $25! Since I have to get in a 3 mile run each of those weeks for marathon training anyway, it all worked out! Hoping next year’s swag is just as awesome!
Even with the heat and humidity, it was tons of fun hanging out with the Richmond running community! In fact, many of my friends ran the event virtually, and showed up in person to volunteer. (See… virtual races are a good thing!)
Will I run this race series again next year? We shall see. It’s another event Richmond runners love to hate!
As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.