HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - It’s been a challenging 2020. Many events have been canceled, many schedules adjusted, but the organizers of the Richmond Marathon at Sports Backers knew that the race must go on.
“It’s really, really important to keep people moving, particularly now, when not only your physical health but your mental health is so important,” said Megan Schultz, race director of the Richmond Marathon. “That just inspires us to keep going.”
Like many things this year, the Richmond Marathon will have a little bit of a different look to it. Instead of downtown, the course will be at Dorey Park and the Virginia Capital Trail. Rather than a traditional race day, runners and walkers have a 16-day span in which they can complete the course between November 7 and November 22. Once again, Sports Backers will be utilizing state of the art technology with the Racejoy app.
“Loved ones are able to send cheers, loved ones are also then able to track their runner to see where they’re at along the course,” noted Schultz. “This was something we took advantage of last year. We’re just kind of stepping up the use of Racejoy this year.”
Among its features, Racejoy tracks mile splits, so runners can combine that with their chip time from their race bib to get an official time. It will be an accurate time that will be verified through the app.
“What it ends up being is this hybrid system,” Schultz pointed out. “We’ve got a start and finish time provided by the chip on the back of your bib, and that’s all validated then by the GPS tracking app.”
Thanks to this timing system, the 2020 Richmond Marathon will be an official qualifier for the Boston Marathon. It will be one of the largest races nationwide to hold that distinction this year.
“We know that qualifying for Boston, we know that finishing a marathon, a half-marathon or an 8K, it’s all an incredible accomplishment, so we want to make sure that those results are accurate and official.”
It will be atypical, but whether runners are pushing for Boston, a personal best, or just to finish, organizers will go the extra mile to make sure you have the best experience possible.
“We’re super excited to be able to offer this opportunity to participants, to runners around the country really, to come out and have an actual race day,” said Schultz.
The course will be measured and marked, as well as certified by USA Track and Field. Water bottle refills and restrooms will be made available throughout the course. The course itself will be open from 5:00 AM-5:30 PM for runners to participate from November 7-November 22.
This year, Sports Backers will also honor those who complete the Richmond Challenge. Runners who complete all three distances, the marathon, half-marathon and 8K, will receive a special commemorative Richmond Challenge medal.
For more information, visit www.richmondmarathon.org.
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