Anthem Richmond Marathon
16 November 2019
The Anthem Richmond Marathon is an annual footrace which has been run for over three decades. Started in 1978, it is more than just a marathon. More like a running event, the entire city comes alive with festivals, spectators, and athletes challenging themselves to make it over the finish line. An amazing way to see the sites of Richmond, the course covers nearly all the historic architecture around the city as well as the neighborhoods that line the James River. Seeing the potential for a fantastic party, in recent years, the course was altered so that the finish line and post party are located at the riverfront. Termed as “America’s Friendliest Marathon". Unlike other races, there are wet washcloth stations, and junk food stops along the way to keep your engines revved up. The post-run party is one of the most spectacular celebrations a runner can participate in. Live bands, party zones, DJs and other nonsense to immerse yourself in, it is the perfect ending to a challenging course. Most of the participants find their way to Brown’s Island and end the day with some hot pizza and cold beer.
The marathon starts on Grace Street at 5th while the half marathon and 8k courses start one block over on Broad Street (at 7th and 8th Streets, respectively). All three end on a downhill slope at 5th & Tredegar Street at Brown's Island and the Canal Walk on Richmond's beautiful downtown riverrfont. The courses run through scenic and historic sections of the city while the marathon also runs along and across the beautiful James River. Overall, the half marathon and marathon courses are great for first-timers and features some rolling hills. The 8k course also features some mild hills. The marathon course will be open from 8 a.m. until 3p.m. The course will reopen to vehicular traffic at a 16-minute per mile rate
The scenic, fast loop course takes in all of the city’s old neighborhoods, traveling up Monument Avenue, past statues of Confederate soldiers and Richmond native and tennis star Arthur Ashe, through the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, then alongside the James River. Along with the typical water and sports drink stops, this is probably the only race in the country that offers junk food stops, at miles 16 and 22, stocked with Gummy Bears, cookies, and soda. There are also two wet-washcloth stations, at miles 17 and 23, perfect for cleaning up for your finish-line photo. Three party zones set up along the way with free food, prize giveaways, and noisemakers for spectators and family means lots of enthusiastic, cheering support. The last mile features a fast downhill to the finish in the trendy Shockoe Slip area, where there are plenty of postrace goodies, including bagels, fruit, and pizza, and a band to celebrate your finish. (Runner’s World, January 2005)