If you are looking for a great regional race with plenty of competition from multiple states and the opportunity for an 8K (4.97 miles) PR, this race is for you! This race, held in November, attracts a large multi-state participant list every year – with over 4,000 finishers in 2021. In my 60-64 male age group, during the 2021 race, the Top 4 finishers were from Virginia, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Maryland. Other states represented in this division included Vermont, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Illinois. The course only has five 90 degree turns and it is basically 2.5 miles out and 2.5 miles back with a very fast ½ mile downhill finish. The elevation is net negative, starting at an elevation of 173 feet and peaking at 210 feet at 2.5 miles before descending to 53 feet at the finish. As previously stated, if you are looking for an 8K PR, this is your course! The course is fully paved, USATF Certified for distance and chip-timed. The timing crew, start and finish and course volunteers are all very professional, with numerous bands and a lot of cheering spectators along the route.
The post race party is big, with plenty of food and water available. There are numerous medical personnel available if necessary. One negative – you will have to wait to receive your medal for a top finish as there is no medal ceremony and the awards are mailed to the winners after the race. The finisher medals and race awards, a nice wooden plaque, are well done and I enjoy having them in my collection. Since this race is so large, awards are given to the Top 5 in each age group. There are plenty of hotels in the area, including downtown at the starting line, and Richmond is a nice city so try to plan on sticking around for a couple of days if you are from out of town. A map of the course is below.