RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The VCU Health Annual Richmond Marathon, one of city’s largest annual events, is back to normal after the pandemic forced changes last year.
The race begins in the morning on Saturday, Nov.13.
Runners can look forward to the traditional event with some minor changes in place due to the pandemic.
“We’re excited to be back in-person in the downtown format,” said Pete Woody a spokesperson for the non-profit Sports Backers.
There will be three different races run on Saturday morning.
The marathon — 26.2 miles — goes throughout downtown and along the James River.
The half-marathon — 13. 1 miles — goes through Arthur Ashe Boulevard and Bryan Park.
The 8K — 5 miles — passes through downtown and the VCU campus.
Organizers are expecting up to 15,000 participants in all. Runners also had the option to register for virtual versions of the races. Some racers will get a special medal for completing all three races — the race of their choice in person and the other two virtually during the month of November.
“We know folks really enjoy getting out and watching. We have a couple party zones that we set up along the course,” Woody said. “A lot of anticipation and that’s great for the runners because it helps get them energy. It helps get them through a long challenging race.”
Last year, Woody said the marathon was spread out over three weekends to accommodate COVID-19 safety protocols and to make up for canceled races.
He said this year it’s back to a one-day event, but they’ve made changes to the Pre-Race Expo due to COVID-19 safety precautions in place.
“A lot of learning for us over the past year. We’ve implemented those things we’ve learned into every event and that’ll certainly be the case with the marathon,” Woody said.
The Pre-Race Expo will be held at the Richmond Raceway, so the outdoor space allows for everyone to social distance.