Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Local Races (Tuesdays on the Run Edition)

So there really isn't much going on in my life now that I find exciting enough to blog about.  Then a friend reminded me of the Tuesdays on the Run topic of local races.  This is something I haven't blogged about yet, so I thought I would tell some things of one of my favorite local races.

In Richmond one of the biggest races is the Ukrop's 10k.  Last year it was the 4th biggest 10k in the US with 23,127 finishers.  The race is so big that probably the first fourth of the field is done before the last person crosses the start line.  This is also the first race I have ever done.  This was back when I was just a walker.  It is a great race that encourages all people to come out participate.  They have tons of band and every inch of the course is filled with spectators.  They even have a costume contest.  The best costume I saw at this race was from Disney's Up where the guy dressed up as a by and above him he carried a full blown house and balloons.  I wish I had a picture of it.  It shuts down Monument Avenue, which is a beautiful road to run.  All of the monuments are beautiful, even if basically all of them are Civil War Heroes.  The houses and architecture is some of the most beautiful in Richmond. It's a great race for beginners as they encourage walkers, which is the way I participated my first few years.

The local YMCA put training teams together all over the city.  They train advance runners as well as beginners and walkers.  The first time I participated I didn't think it was a big deal.  I wasn't even close to thinking about running, but I walk a lot.  How hard could it be to walk 6 miles.  Well in the first mile I pulled my quad and hurt the rest of the way.  The next year I joined the YMCA walk training team and did a great job of walking it all.  I did the walking training team for the next few years.

The one thing I hated about this race was that it was so hard to find a parking spot.  It's all street parking minus a few inconvenient parking garages.  One year, even though I was signed up, I spent an hour looking for a parking spot and finally gave up and just went home.  It was so frustrating that I vowed not to do the race again.  They listened to the complaints and a couple years later they started a shuttle from a couple different places and it works out perfectly with no stress.

When I started running, this was the first race I ran the whole thing.  I again joined the training team and the first week when we did one mile I ran the the whole mile.  Then the next week when we did two miles, I ran it all. And so on each week, I kept running the whole thing.  I couldn't believe that I was actually running more then 5 minutes at a time.

Most of the running community runs this race every year.  All of my running friends usually meet at the expo on Thursday night and go out to dinner and celebrate.  Then on Saturday morning we all meet up at the shuttled parking lot and head down to the start line.  We go to the local coffee place and stand in line to go to the bathroom and we make our way to the start line.  Then we meet afterward and go to brunch.  Most of us do not care about our time and are just out there to have fun. 

I signed up for this year's race which is April 1st.  I'm actually looking forward to the fun weekend with running friends I haven't seen in awhile.  Come back to read my race report in a few weeks!

Have you run the Ukrop's 10k?  Have you dressed up for a race to try to win a contest?  Do you have expo/dinner/brunch traditions with running friends around local races?


  1. O man, how frustrating to not be able to run a race because you can't find a parking spot!

    I'm glad you are keeping your tradition of running this race. Sound like a fun time! -M

  2. One year I'll get you to come down and run it too! :)