Why I Chose the Richmond Marathon

I put a lot of thought into which marathon I wanted to be my first.

I didn’t choose a local race because I wanted a new adventure in a new place. The Mohawk Hudson River Marathon is Albany’s fall marathon-a fast and flat course on extremely familiar trails down the Hudson and Mohawk River. For some people this would be a no-brainer. I could sleep in my own bed the night before the race and it would be less stressful and I could run 26.2 miles on the trails I know. But, I wanted a change. The marathon runs on the same bike path I  train on. Sure, its beautiful course, but by then I’m sure I’d be so sick of the Mohawk Hudson Bike path it would probably make me puke. There is also not much crowd support during the race, if any at all. There were a few people scattered here and there at the end (when I did the half marathon), but I don’t think that it would be enough to push me through the last 6.2 miles of a marathon. I  need a cheering crowd and ENERGY! But I’m definitely not ruling it out for a future marathon if all goes well the first time around!

I didn’t choose the huge race that {mostly} everyone wants to run.  I used to think this was the only marathon I ever wanted to do–the biggest marathon in the country in one of the biggest cities in the world. This year, I didn’t enter the lottery for the New York City Marathon. I probably wouldn’t have gotten in if I did. {A big congrats to those who did, though!} Sure, maybe SOMEDAY I’ll run this race if I’m lucky–but after really thinking about it, I didn’t want to pay $255 to run 26.2 miles when there are cheaper races that could be just as exciting.


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Why DID I choose the Richmond Marathon?

{image source: Richmond Marathon’s Facebook Profile}

It was honestly a toss up between the Philadelphia Marathon and the Richmond Marathon. But, I’ve been to Philly a few times already and I’ve never been to Virginia other than driving through it on the way to Florida a few times when I was growing up. The new place won out. I had read a few blogger reviews about this marathon and how awesome it is. It also got rave reviews on marathon guide. The race takes place in November, which means training in late summer/early fall, which is exactly what I wanted. It was cheap {$70 for a full marathon!} and bit but not HUGE, with 3,779 finishers in 2010 . There were also options of a half marathon & 8K race if {God forbid} anything happen and I need to drop down to the shorter distance. There’s a new city to explore and it takes place during a Holiday weekend, so I automatically get the following Monday off from work. SCORE! So, that, my friends, is my reason why I picked Richmond!


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  1. You made a great choice. I haven’t run Richmond (yet – conflict with the last two races I did), but my wife’s sister and her husband live in Richmond and have run it multiple times because it’s so well run. Great crowd support, great organization and aid stations, and best of all – downhill to the finish. Good luck with training and the race!
    Chris @ Evolving Through Running recently posted..Tapering Towards Ultra

  2. I am so excited for you! You will love running your first full marathon. A fall marathon is so much more intelligent than February. That is when I ran my first and training for it was tough through the winter.
    Nicki recently posted..Why Pittsburgh?

  3. Hey Jen,

    Thanks for the wealth of information! I’m seriously considering doing the Richmond Marathon as my first as well and have really enjoyed reading your posts. I’m sure I’ll be referencing your blog from now until November 🙂

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