Following the cancelation of the New York City Marathon after Hurricane Sandy, many trained runners are looking for a marathon. I know how that feels, being trained without a race. More specifically, I know how it feels, in the first weekend in November, being trained without a race. I recommend the Richmond Marathon.
Last year I had to drop out of the New York City Marathon in the 18th mile and as soon as I got home afterwards, cold, in tears and distraught, the first thing I did was search for another marathon. I worked too hard and for too long to let my training be for nothing.
When Andy and I decided on the Richmond Marathon (The Philadelphia Marathon was full and I am so thankful for that now), I signed up, paid the relatively low entry free and just like that I was in – with none of the crazy fanfare that goes along with registering/qualifying/lotterying (not a word) for the ING New York City Marathon. That simplicity set the stage for the entire marathon experience.
A few days later, I was on my way to Virginia for the Richmond Marathon. If you’re looking for a fun, fast, friendly, gorgeous, close-to-NYC race, I can’t recommend this race enough. I loved it so much that I’ll be there next weekend to run the half marathon. I loved it THAT much. I can’t wait to be back there, in my happy place.
The Richmond Marathon Simplicity Summary
- Logistics – You just drive to the start area, park in a lot (unless you can walk from your hotel) and then walk a few blocks to the porta potties and start area. No waiting around in the cold for hours like you would on Staten Island before the NYC Marathon..
- Corrals – You can get to the start right before the race is starting. There is no intense corral system. There are corrals, but you place yourself in the one you think is best for you.
- Spectator support – Richmond has designated ‘Party Zones’ for your friends and family. Andy followed the directions provided on the Richmond Marathon website and was able to see me many times throughout the race: at the start, at mile 7, at mile 13.9, at mile 20 and again at the finish line. He had my ShotBloks and Vaseline, and it was so easy to see him and get what I need. I also loved knowing exactly when I could expect to find him.
- Finish Line – You complete your 26.2 miles and you’re done! No long finisher chute, no waiting an hour to get in touch with your friends, no having to navigate public transportation to get back after. It is very easy for you and your people to meet up by the finish line right after the race.
And here are my reflections after the running the Richmond Marathon.
If you were a 2012 NYCM runner, did you sign up for another race? Which race and how did you make your decision? Will I see you in Richmond?