Half-marathon runners don’t let distance stop tradition

Half-marathoners keep tradition going despite distance

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Richmond Marathon often draws runners from nearly every state to the River City. While the pandemic is interfering with some plans in 2020, one local half-marathoner and her friend will keep their tradition going from a distance.

Glen Allen’s Kate Kinney and her friend, Emmy, run the half-marathon every year. Kate has run 10 half-marathons in the last eight years, but with Emmy having moved to Illinois, she won’t be able to make it back east for this year’s event, thanks to COVID-19.

“If she were to come to Virginia, she would’ve had to quarantine and stay home with her kids for two weeks straight,” Kate pointed out.

That didn’t stop the duo from continuing their tradition. This past Friday, Kate took off from the starting line of the Richmond Half-Marathon at Dorey Park, while her friend hit the streets a time-zone away.

“Emmy’s going to run from home and we’re going to run from here and we’re going to connect together later and hopefully celebrate over a beer or glass of wine,” said Kate before her run.

But Kate was not alone on Friday. Another one of her traditions has become talking more of her friends into running their first half-marathons and Melissa Hawkins, who made the trip from Waynesboro, was by her side for her first trek of 13.1 miles. She got into running during the pandemic as a way to get out of the house.

“I have an avid runner friend over here who’s been motivating me, too,” Melissa said. “I’m just excited to start this new adventure.”

“We’ve recruited lots of non-runners to run with us,” added Kate. “Today we have my friend, Melissa, to run her first half. We’ve got some other friends who have run with us as well.”

The longtime runner hopes that next year will mark the race’s return downtown and Kate wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few more runners tackling the course.

“So many friends who were non-runners have turned into runners thanks to COVID. Nobody has anything to do but learn how to run, so it’s just going to boost up next year’s participants, I hope.”

Runners have through Sunday to get their races in while the official course at Dorey Park and the Virginia Capital Trail is marked and staffed. Registration is still open and you can sign up here.

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