RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – The 40,000 people running down Monument Avenue next year will have a much lengthier name across the front of their shirts. They'll be running in the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K presented by Martin's.
From the moment Ukrop's president announced he was selling his grocery chain, people started asking what would happen to one of the city's biggest events: The Monument Avenue 10K.
Ukrop's has been the sponsor since its creation 11 years ago. Friday morning, at a Retail Merchant's Association forum came the answer.
"Just like it has always been, it's going to be the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K, but it's now going to be presented by Martin's, so we think it's a perfect partnership," said Bobby Ukrop of Ukrop's Homestyle Foods.
Martin's has signed a three year contract to be the sponsor.
"It carries the name of Ukrop's. Ukrop's is part of us in a way. We carry their name on our stores. So, what a great way to continue that with sponsoring of the race," said Rick Herring, President of Giant\Martin's.
Sports Backers started the event. The organizations executive director says the addition of Martin's as a sponsor could lead to more racers pounding the pavement.
"Because they have such a big footprint in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and all over Virginia. That's going to help expand the brand awareness and marketing for the event," said Jon Lugbill with Sports Backers.
Last year a record 37,000 ran the race. They raised hundreds of thousand for cancer research.
"We're just glad to have been involved in it from the beginning and we plan to continue to be involved with it and now we have a new partner to help with it," Bobby Ukrop said.
The 12th running of the Monument Avenue 10K will be held April 2, 2011.