RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Shortly after the pandemic hit back in March, Monument Avenue 10K race director Meghan Keogh and her staff got right to work. They had a lot to consider when coming up with options for the 2020 event.
“Ever since March, we have been planning and talking and coming up with ways to change what we were offering and how to keep people safe,” Keogh said.
It may be a 10K race, but it took a marathon effort. First, the race was postponed from March to September, then it became clear that one big race would not be a safe option. After all of the adjustments, it’s finally time to pound the pavement - or trails. Four different courses will be offered for runners and walkers (Byrd Park, Deep Run Park, Dorey Park and Henricus Historical Park) and times can be logged using the Racejoy app. It may not be traditional, but it will be a race day experience.
“Every course will have a start and finish line, there will be mile markers, there will be signage along the course, and people can come out anytime they want, they can start whenever they want,” noted Koegh.
Participants can run any of the courses from Friday through Sunday from dawn to dusk.
The Monument Avenue 10K is not your garden variety race. It’s the fourth-largest in the country for its distance, and although the event will not have the 25,000 participants that did in 2019, more than 15,000 are signed up, which is a stark contrast from the other 10K’s nationwide.
“They’ve had up to a 60 percent deferral rate and so that’s why we feel we’re offering something better than just the virtual option,” the race director remarked. “The Richmond community has certainly supported us through our efforts to make that happen.”
At its peak attendance, the race saw about 40,000 participants, before organizers dialed back the cap to be able to handle traffic and congestion and a little bit better.
As for this time around, the race days will offer the chance for runners to lace up their shoes and experience some normalcy in a year that’s been anything but typical.
“Getting out and going for a walk or going for a run is really important these days,” added Keogh. “This is giving you an opportunity to do that in a way that you can still compete in a race.”
The goal for 2021 is to try to hold the race in the spring once again, but this weekend gives participants a chance to make the most of a unique situation.
“This is a 10K like no other. This is going to be the one time you get to participate in September, and you get to be a part of something that’s completely different and new and special.”
Registration remains open and runners or walkers can sign up through Sunday, provided they can get to a course and finish by Sunday evening. For more information on the 2020 Monument Avenue 10K, click here.
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