Many Central Virginia runners enjoy running in September more than any other time. After all, what's not to love about a month filled with running events, ending with the classic Virginia 10 Miler on Sept. 27. Hit the running trails any day in September and you'll find runners of every age and ability level working to improve their runs.
Whether you're new to running or an old running pro, September's cooler temperatures make running the thing to do this month. Here are some running events you'll want to add to your September calendar.
Visit Riverside Runners on Rivermont Avenue or The Aid Station in Wyndhurst to register for these events and for all of your local running needs. You can also register online and many events offer race day registration.
Run short, long or with kids on Saturday, Sept. 6. The Hope for Tomorrow 5k and 1 Mile Kids Run will be held at Peaks View Park in Lynchburg. Hope for Tomorrow is a pediatric cancer organization that is raising funds to help researchers find treatments with less long term side effects and hopefully one day a cure. The Fun Run begins at 8 a.m. with the 5k at 9 a.m.
Many of the area's distance runners will be in Farmville on Sept. 6 for the 2nd Annual High Bridge Half Marathon & 5k. The Half begins at 7:30 a.m. and the 5k starts at 8 a.m. The event, which travels through High Bridge Trail State Park, begins and ends in downtown Farmville. If you're going, plan to stay for the High Bridge Riverside Festival, which features a DJ, entertainment, food, vendors and inflatables for the kids.
The 9/11 Heroes Run will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 11 at American Legion Post 16 on Greenview Drive. 9/11 Heroes Runs take place across the country and around the world each year to honor the lives lost in the Sept. 11 terror attacks and the wars since. Honor the fallen by challenging the living. In addition to the 5k, there's a 1 mile fun run/walk for all ages and abilities.
The 4th Annual Rachael's Paws & Purrs 5k & 10k will be held on Sept. 13, starting at Amazement Square at 8:30 a.m. This event honors the memory of Rachael Horton, who died with her husband, Aaron, in a fire in their home on April 8, 2011. Rachael worked at Gentle Care Animal Hospital, where she often donated her own money to help animals in need of medical care. The Rachael Horton Compassionate Care Fund takes up where Rachael left off, providing funds to animals who need expensive medical care. In addition to the 5k and 10k, there's a 1 mile fun run/walk. Unlike many local races, leashed dogs are welcome to participate in this event for a minimal fee.
The weekend of Sept. 20-21 is free on the Central Virginia running calendar, but you'll find plenty of runners on the local trails getting in their final long runs before the 10 Miler.
The 41st annual Virginia 10 Miler, which takes place at 8 a.m. on Sept. 27, was chosen by the Road Runners Club of America as the 2014 RRCA National Championship. In addition to the classic 10 Miler, the event includes the 4 Miler Run and 4 Miler Walk on Sept. 27 and the Amazing Mile Children's Run on Sept. 26.
Runners and walkers in the 4 Miler begin at E.C. Glass High School with the 10 Miler participants at 8 a.m. and finish at Randolph College. 10 Miler participants circle through Riverside Park and loop back, pushing their endurance through the infamous "Farm Basket Hill" on the way to the finish line.
The Amazing Mile Children's Run includes three events for children 13 and under. Children up to age 5 will run 1/4 mile, beginning at 6:15 p.m. Children ages 6-9 will run 1/2 mile, beginning at 6:35 p.m. All children ages 13 and under are eligible to run the 1 mile event, with two waves beginning at 6:50 and 7:10 p.m. There is also a Family Festival at Amazement Square from noon to 5 p.m.
One of the best ways to train for the Virginia 10 Miler is to run some shorter races in advance. Local runner Jordan Whitlock suggests, "My advice for those running their first 5k is to do the best you can and not worry about being slow. Run at a comfortable pace, and walk when you feel like walking. Have a goal of running a little bit farther before you walk the next time. Be consistent, and it won't be long before you are ready to advance to running a 10k or longer."
So mark your calendars for the month of September. It's not too late to register for these events and you won't want to miss the Virginia 10 Miler. More than 4,000 runners from around the world will participate in the 10 Miler this year. Join them and see why this race is a favorite for so many runners.