The Rundown: RVA’s active events for Winter 2016

Sure, you’ll over-indulge over the next couple of weeks, but that’s OK, because signing up for a January/February race now will alleviate all that annoying guilt.

Photo by Teo.

It’s almost the new year, and you know what that means–the gyms across the city will be jam-packed with eager resolution-makers and grumpy regulars cursing the influx of newbies. Why not hit the streets or trails instead? Though most of the world is in hibernation, the running community remains in high gear during the winter months.

First Day 5k 2016 – Friday, January 1st

  • Event Type: Run/Walk
  • Distance: 5k, 1k Kids’ Run
  • Location: ACAC Fitness & Wellness Center, 11621 Robious Road, Midlothian
  • Time: 11:00 AM
  • Registration: $25 for RRRC members, $30 for non-members through December 30. Kids’ run is free but you must register online or at packet pick up to participate.

The First Day 5k is a staple of the Richmond Road Runners Club calendar. An 11:00 AM start means you have plenty of time to catch up on sleep after your wild New Year’s Eve celebrations. You can even just roll out of bed and show up in your finery for a chance to win the “Fastest Male in a Tuxedo” or “Fastest Female in an Evening Gown” awards.

Willis River 35k & 50k Trail Runs – Sunday, January 10th

  • Event Type: Trail Run
  • Distance: 35k, 50k
  • Location: Bearcreek Lake State Park, Bear Creek Lake Road, Cumberland
  • Time: 8:00 AM
  • Registration: Race participation free; $4 parking fee

If you’re looking for a big challenge to kick off 2016, the Willis River 35k & 50k are it. Though no longer formal races supported by Richmond Road Runners, the events are still being organized by volunteers for those who still long to tackle these technical trails that have an almost mythic reputation. (Remember the time we had to wade waist-deep through the creek crossing and then we got lost for an hour?)

Frostbite 15k — Saturday, January 17th

  • Event Type: Run
  • Distance: 15k
  • Location: Maymont Elementary School, 1211 South Allen Street, Richmond
  • Time: 9:00 AM
  • Registration: $35 for RRRC Members; $45 for non-members

The name says “Frostbite” but you never quite know what you’re going to get for weather at this Richmond Road Runners Club race in January. Last year, it was a deluge of rain and the year before, it was a decidedly un-frosty 50 degrees. What you are guaranteed to get is a well-organized machine of a race with a surprisingly hilly route through Byrd Park and the often overlooked neighborhoods near Maymont.

Shiver in the River — Saturday, January 30th

  • Event Type: Walk/Run
  • Distance(s): 5k
  • Location: Historic Tredegar, 500 Tredegar Street, Richmond
  • Time: Noon
  • Registration: $25 for adults through December 31; $30 for adults after; $15 for children aged 5-12 years.

The Shiver in the River Event–better known for the River Jump, has added a 5k to the festivities, along with a community cleanup along the banks of the James near historic Tredegar. This is a great opportunity to take care of Richmond’s greatest natural resource, get your run on, and if you’re crazy enough–take the polar plunge into the river.

Note: River Jump event registration/fundraising is separate from participation in 5k; community cleanup open to all.

Sweetheart 8k — Sunday, February 7th

  • Event Type: Walk/Run
  • Distance(s): 8k
  • Location: The Urban Farmhouse, 13872 Coalfield Commons Place, Midlothian
  • Time: 8:30 AM
  • Registration: $12 for RRRC Members; $20 for non-members through February 4th.

Grab your favorite running sweetheart and head to Midlothian Mines Park for this mixed surfaces 8k that makes good use of historic Midlothian Coal Mine Park.

Powhatan State Park Solar 8 Miler – Saturday, February 20th

  • Event Type: Trail run
  • Distance(s): 8 miles
  • Location: 4616 Powhatan State Park Road, Powhatan
  • Time: 9:00 AM
  • Registration: $20 through February 1st; $25 after and on race day

Here’s a race with an unusual cause: all proceeds go to local charities, sports teams, and student-driven solar power projects in and around Powhatan County Public Schools. If you’ve never run trails, winter is a great time to start. Don’t forget $4 cash for parking.

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Kathryn Pullam

When not running, Kathryn can most often be found in the vicinity of donuts, live music, or a comfy porch swing.

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