RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — An estimated 16,000 runners laced up their best sneakers on Saturday, Nov. 12, for the 45th annual Richmond Marathon.
Cheers of encouragement rang out across the city as spectators, friends and strangers alike watched the athletes conquer the streets. Frederick Johnson, a participant in the marathon, was pleasantly surprised by the weather.
“Thought we were going to wake up to a chilly, windy, rainy day and it was spectacular,” Johnson said.
It wasn’t just Richmonders enjoying the clear skies. People from across the country flocked to the city for the event.
Greg Williams and his wife joined Johnson’s party.
“I didn’t want to run the race,” Williams said. “But this fella here bullied me into it.”
Kate Greenhouse is originally from Richmond, but has since moved to Brooklyn, New York. She said the Richmond Marathon is unmatched, so she made the journey back.
“It’s just really sweet to see everybody cheering people on from the sidelines and cheering people on as they’re running,” Greenhouse said.
That buoyant energy wasn’t reserved exclusively for out-of-towners. Suzanne Lewis is a seasoned runner and local resident. She consistently participates in the event, and this year was no different.
“This is the best race,” Lewis said. “It just is beautiful scenery, it’s always well-run and I get to sleep in my own bed, wake up and join the festivities.”
The event was split into three races — the Allianz Partners Richmond Marathon, the CarMax Half Marathon and the VCU Health Richmond 8K.
The Richmond Marathon is a qualifier for the prestigious Boston Marathon. Every runner who spoke with 8News at the event’s afterparty on Brown’s Island could agree on one thing — “I can’t wait to take a nap,” Greenhouse said.