Richmond Half Marathon gets a new title sponsor, sees influx of runners

American Family Fitness will take over the sponsor role for the Richmond Half Marathon from the previous sponsor, McDonald’s. Not only is the Half Marathon getting a new sponsor, but it’s also experiencing a renaissance among runners.

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American Family Fitness will be the new sponsor of Richmond’s Half Marathon. The local organization with seven health clubs in Richmond, has inked a three-year deal with Sports Backers, organizers of the event, to be the title sponsor of the 13.1-mile race. McDonald’s had served as the previous sponsor since 2008.

“It’s exciting to have American Family Fitness on board as the title sponsor of the American Family Fitness Half Marathon. American Family is such a big proponent of an active lifestyle in the Richmond region, so the connection to the half marathon makes perfect sense,” said Jeff Fitch, the Director of Sponsorship and Development for the Sports Backers in a prepared statement.

The half marathon is the fastest growing race distance in the country, according to Running USA. In the last four years, Richmond’s half-marathon has grown from 4,600 participants to an excess of 7,400, a 62% increase. Sports Backers views the race as a companion to the annual Richmond Marathon.

“American Family Fitness is committed to promoting an active and healthy lifestyle in the community where it has both evolved and been an integral part of for almost 24 years. Not only are we excited about the opportunity, but I think more importantly we now have a strong synergy of healthy lifestyle promoting title sponsor companies for the weekend races,” said Brian E. Evans, President of American Family Fitness.

This is the second major sponsorship announcement made by Sports Backers in as many weeks. Late last month, the organization announced that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield will be the new sponsor for the Richmond Marathon beginning this year. For the previous fourteen years, SunTrust served as the title sponsor.

Just as with the Anthem Richmond Marathon, the new finish line for the Half-Marathon will be at 5th and Tredegar streets and will feature a post-race festival on Brown’s Island. Registration for both the Richmond Marathon and Half Marathon is currently open.

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stock photo by manoj damodaran

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