(I decided it's easiest to start in the here and now and eventually get to some recaps of what's been going on since I took a break from blogging. And I do have one VERY SPECIAL 2012 race recap. Stay tuned.)
April 13, 2013 - Monument Avenue 10K in Richmond, VA
I was born and raised in Richmond, VA and I make a point to go back for the Monument Avenue 10K whenever possible. Last year the race had 40,638 participants. Growing up I know the size wasn't as large; the race has really grown! The atmosphere is unlike any other race I've experienced. Monument Avenue is one of the main streets in Richmond. It's an out-and-back course with almost the entire race on Monument Avenue. The street is lined with bands and supporters. There are a lot of houses along the street and the residents come out and cheer. There is also a costume contest that's featured in the paper.
You'd be hard pressed to find someone in Richmond who isn't connected to the race in some way. Either they plan to run it or they know someone who is running it. The local news station has a special program covering the race as it happens. I think it's really great that something so positive and fitness related gets this much attention. I also like that the distance is a 10K rather than a 5K. Pretty impressive that ~40,000 people all plan to complete 6.2 miles. Some of those particpants are walkers, but I'd say the majority of the participants are runners.
This year the seeded waves have been extended to anyone who has previously ran a 10K in 1:02:59 or less. Last year I officially ran a 10K in under an hour, so I will be in a seeded wave. When I originally signed up for this race, I just wanted to give myself a reason to run 6.2 miles because I had not been running consistently. Every run I've done on the treadmill has been at a 9:30 pace (or faster), so now I hope that I am able to complete the race in under an hour like I did last year. I ran 5 miles yesterday at that pace so it should happen.