The September/October Rundown: RVA’s active events

Ah, Richmond—the home of never ending festivals and thankfully, a steady stream of active events to help you work off some of the festival food and libations! The Big Bike Race™ isn’t the only race in town!

Photo by Shelah.

Summer’s sweaty, sweltering days are on their way out and the active calendar is ramping up. Whether you want to do a 5k where it’s perfectly acceptable to show up dressed like Thor or become a real Half Ironman, we’ve got you covered.

SpeakUp5k — Saturday, September 12th

  • Event Type: Run/Walk
  • Distance(s): 5k or 10k
  • Location: Carillon, Byrd Park, Richmond
  • Time: 9:00 AM
  • Registration: $40 for adults, $20 for children ages 12 and under.

The SpeakUp5k is run in memory of Cameron Gallagher, the Richmond teen who collapsed and died just after finishing her first half marathon in Virginia Beach in 2014. Cameron had been struggling with sadness and teenage depression, and no one knew that she had also been working to create a race called the SpeakUp5k to bring attention to a positive cause each year and encouraged people to “be nice.” She wanted people simply to speak up for others in need. After her death, her parents discovered Cameron’s plans for the SpeakUp5k, and the race has become her legacy.

The race is family-friendly and has a beautiful course that winds around the three lakes of Byrd Park. This year, there is the option to double the fun and run the course twice for a 10k.

All proceeds go to the Cameron K. Gallagher Memorial Foundation, whose mission is to cultivate awareness understanding for those suffering from teenage depression and anxiety.

Das Bier Run — Sunday, September 13th

  • Event Type: Team Relay
  • Distance(s): 4 x 1 mile team relay
  • Location: Center of the Universe Brewing Co, 11293 Airpark Road, Ashland
  • Time: 3:30 PM
  • Registration: $100 per team through September 10th for teams captained by a Richmond Road Runners Club member. $130 per team for race day registration (as space allows). $120 per team through September 10th for non-RRRC members, $130 on race day.

There are some pairings whose perfection can’t be denied: meat and potatoes, Sonny and Cher, Lamplighter and students, running and beer. Grab three of your friends and head to Ashland for this team relay run disguised as an Oktoberfest celebration. Each team member will run a fast and flat 1-mile loop course; prizes for Top All-Male Team, All-Female Team, Mixed Team, and Best Dressed Team. Afterwards, celebrate your accomplishment at Center of the Universe Brewing Co’s traditional Oktoberfest party, which is conveniently located at the finish line.

Slay the Dragon 5k — Saturday, September 19th

  • Event Type: Run/Walk
  • Distance: 5k
  • Location: Carter Park, Ashland
  • Time: 8:30 AM
  • Registration: $20 before September 10; $25 after

A fundraiser walk/run in memory of Richard Lloyd, who had a short but tough battle with leiomyosarcoma (LMS), an extremely rare cancer. Since 2007, this event has raised around $46,000 for the National LMS Foundation to support research in finding a cure and slaying this dragon.

ReeseStrong 5k and Gold Ribbon Kid’s Run — Saturday, September 19th

  • Event Type: Run/Family walk
  • Distance(s): 5k, 1/4 mile and 1/2 mile kids’ runs
  • Location: Rutland Commons Shopping Center, Mechanicsville
  • Time: 8:30 AM
  • Registration: Available online through September 16th. $15 for Kid’s Run events, $30 for 5k.

Signature event of the ReeseStrong Foundation, dedicated to helping families stay strong in battle against childhood cancer. 100% family friendly, this event has two different kid run options–perfect to burn some energy for a good cause bright and early on a Saturday morning. There’s also a 5k for adults, which winds through the Rutland and Cool Springs Forest neighborhoods. Post-race festival includes bounceables, caricature artists, balloon animals, face painters, and of course, lots of food options.

Color Run Richmond — Saturday, September 19th

  • Event Type: Fun Run/Walk
  • Distance: 5k
  • Location: Richmond International Raceway, 600 E. Laburnum Avenue
  • Time: 9:00 AM
  • Registration: $39.50 per person for teams of 4 or more runners; $45 for solo runners

Does the idea of sneezing purple for a week excite you? Got an extra set of white clothes that are just screaming for a multi-color makeover? Then the Color Run is for you.

If you are even slightly OCD or can’t stand to get messy, you might want to sit this one out.

As you make your way along a 5k course, volunteers will happily pelt you from head to toe with colored cornstarch powder in green, red, orange, and purple. This year’s tour theme is “Shine”… my guess is that in addition to the color powder, there is also a strong possibility that you will be getting glitter bombed. The finish festival is a free-for-all, with hundreds of participants tossing their color packets, extra color bombs, and music.

Pro tip: Don’t forget baby wipes, a change of clothes, and/or towels and trash bags to sit on for the drive home.

Monacan Fun Run — Saturday, September 19th

  • Event Type: Family Fun Run
  • Distance: 5k
  • Location: Monacan High School, 11501 Smoketree Drive
  • Time: 9:00 am
  • Registration: $25

Wind through the shady neighborhood (that’s shady as in “has a lot of trees,” not shady as in “guys with trench coats on the corner beckoning you to come a little closer”), and maybe you’ll win a prize for your age group.

Let’s Move Day — Sunday, September 20th

  • Event Type: Run/Family walk
  • Distance: 5k
  • Location: Patterson Avenue Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 3901 Patterson Avenue
  • Time: 8:30 AM
  • Registration: FREE; online registration before event to receive information and T-shirt

Supporting First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move, 50 faith and community based organizations responded with the national “Let’s Move Day” to create awareness of childhood obesity and promote healthier lifestyles. With a goal for participants to collectively cover two million miles in one day, every step counts.

Conquer the Cobbles — Friday, September 25th

  • Event Type: Cycling
  • Distance(s): As many loops of the UCI championship course that you can complete in 2 hours
  • Location: Sports Backers Stadium, 100 Avenue of Champions, Richmond
  • Time: 7:00 PM
  • Registration: $125 through September 21; $135 for walk up registration on September 24th.

A once in a lifetime opportunity to ride on a UCI World Championships course–it isn’t for the faint-hearted. Take on the same streets that the pros will during the Big Bike Race ™. You’ll start at Sports Backers stadium and take off on a challenging and technical course that includes Monument Avenue and the infamous cobbled hill on 23rd Street in Church Hill. There is no set distance; participants may do the loop as many times as they can during the two hour event timeframe.

Saint Mary’s Catholic School Go Forth 5k — Saturday, September 26th

  • Event Type: Run/Walk
  • Distance(s): 5k and Kids’ Fun Run
  • Location: Deep Run Park, 9900 Ridgefield Parkway, Henrico
  • Time: 8:00 AM
  • Registration: $25 for 5k through September 11; $15 for Kids’ Fun Run

Deep Run Park is a pretty park, so if you live out towards Ridgefield Parkway, be sure to sign up for this one soon. The deadline approaches!

Aruna Project — Saturday, October 3rd

  • Event Type: Run/Walk
  • Distance: 5k
  • Location: Virginia Commonwealth University, 810 Cathedral Place
  • Time: 10:00 AM
  • Registration: $20 online and walk up on race day

This one is a cause that’s new to me; the Aruna Project is a nonprofit that works to bring and sustain freedom to the enslaved in South Asia. Races around the country help fund their work to free women and girls trapped in cycles of poverty, violence, and gender bias in South Asia.

The first 100 registrants will receive an athletic drawstring backpack made by hands of women freed, in part, from previous Aruna Runs. Now that’s taking race swag to a whole new level of meaning.

Mustangs 5k – Saturday, October 3rd

  • Event Type: Run
  • Distance: 5k
  • Location: Midlothian Middle School, 13501 Midlothian Turnpike, Midlothian
  • Time: 9:00 AM
  • Registration: $25 through October 1st; $30 race day registration

Benefiting Midlothian Middle School athletic programs, aka the mighty, mighty Mustangs. Bonus: when you’re finished, you can head over to Midlothian Apothecary for a limeade.

Children’s Home Society Family 5k & Play — Saturday, October 3rd

  • Event Type: Family Walk/Run
  • Distance(s): 5k, Kids’ Run
  • Location: Deep Run Park, 9900 Ridgefield Parkway, Henrico
  • Time: 8:45 AM (Kid’s Run); 9:00 am (5k)
  • Registration: $15 for children; $30 for adults; $60 for family pass that includes 5k and Kid’s Fun Run for up to 6 individuals

Made for families, this event includes prizes in categories such as Best Decorated Stroller and Best Family Pride. It also features a slew of field games, bounce houses, and other non-running activities. The Children’s Home Society is gearing up for Adoption Month in November, and you’ll be hearing more about that from us later on.

Fellowship of Christian Athletes Fan Day 5k — Saturday, October 3rd

  • Event Type: Run/Walk
  • Distance(s): 5k, Kids’ Run
  • Location: Pocahontas State Park, 10301 State Park Road, Chesterfield
  • Time: 9:00 AM
  • Registration: $10 for adults; $5 for students

Wear your favorite jersey for this trail run, which is followed by a tailgate.

Pro tip: Take $5 cash for parking at Pocahontas State Park. Bug spray is also a good idea.

Open Arms Costume Fun Run/Walk — Sunday, October 4th

  • Event Type: Run/Walk
  • Distance: 5k
  • Location: The Hamptons at Hunton Park Apartments, 3100 Stone Arbor Lane, Glen Allen
  • Time: 8:30 AM
  • Registration: $25

Supporting Open Arms, a charity that provides homes for families and individuals in medical crisis. Here is your opportunity to dust off your favorite costume and let the free on-site face painter complete your look for the Costume Contest.

Richmond Rox 1/2 Iron, Olympic Distance, and Sprint Triathlons – Sunday, October 4th

  • Event Type: Triathlon; two and three-person relay options available; Aquabike options available.
  • Distance(s): 1/2 Iron (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run); Olympic (1500 meter swim, 40k bike, 10k run); Sprint (750 meter swim, 12 mile bike, 5k run).
  • Location: Rockett’s Landing
  • Time: 7:00 AM
  • Registration: see website for details; many options make registration prices complex!

For all of the over-achievers who can’t stop at mastering just one sport. Whether you’re just delving into the world of triathlons or you’re ready to go the distance with a 70.3 mile 1/2 Ironman, this event has you covered. Or team up with a runner who hates to swim, a cyclist who hates to run, and a swimmer who is a fish out of water running OR biking, and you’ve got yourself a team to compete in the relay division. Options abound.

All three distances offer an open water James River swim, a rural bike course with rolling hills east of the city, and a run back towards the city that includes portions of the Virginia Capital Trail and the Canal Walk.

Children’s Hospital Foundation Four Mile Walk/Run — Saturday, October 10th

  • Event Type: Run/Walk/Obstacle Course
  • Distance: 4 miles, obstacle course for kids ages 5-10
  • Location: Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, Brook Road Campus, 2924 Brook Road
  • Time: 8:30 AM (obstacle course); 9:00 AM (5k)
  • Registration: $25 for the four-miler through September 25th/$35 after; $10 for Superkid Adventure Obstacle Course before September 25th/$15 after.

This just might have it all: a super hero costume contest, a running Nutzy, a Superkid Adventure Obstacle Course, and a four-mile race through Richmond’s beautiful historic Northside neighborhoods.

Rugged Maniac Obstacle Race — Saturday, October 10th

  • Event Type: Obstacle Race
  • Distance: 3 miles
  • Location: Virginia Motorsports Park, 8018 Boydton Plank Road, Petersburg
  • Registration: $79 through September 11th; $89 through October 6th; $100 walk up registration

Running not enough of a challenge for you? Then Rugged Maniac is up your alley. You’ll cover three miles and along the way complete 25 obstacles like scaling towers of shipping containers, a water slide, underground tunnels, fire, mud, and muck. If that wasn’t enough fun, afterwards you can hang around for a day-long festival complete with mechanical bull riding, adult bounce houses, trampolines, dancing, and music. And beer to numb the pain you’ll no doubt be in.

Pro Tip: Parking is an additional $10 per car; cash only. Wear clothes that you don’t care about because they’ll probably be destroyed. And bring a change of clothes AND shoes. The organizers also suggest bringing a gallon of water to rinse off with afterwards to avoid lines at rinse off stations. I’d also suggest Advil.

Step Up for Down Syndrome 5k & Family Festival — Saturday, October 10th

  • Event Type: Run/Walk
  • Distance: 5k
  • Location: Innsbrook Pavillion, 4901 Lake Brook Drive
  • Time: 8:30 AM
  • Registration: $35 for chip timed adult; $30 for non-timed

The Down Syndrome Association of Greater Richmond (DSAGR) puts this major event on to benefit their cause, and they’ve got a lot of fun things to do whether or not you’re into running. If you’re not into running, and you’ve made it this far in this piece, kudos on your patience.

Run Like a Girl – Sunday, October 11th

  • Event Type: Run/Walk/Virtual Race
  • Distance: 4 miles
  • Location: 12580 West Creek Parkway, Goochland
  • Time: 9:00 am
  • Registration: $35 through September 15th; $40 after

This one is for ladies only (Really! No dudes allowed, except as volunteers!). Run Like a Girl is a race just for women, raising awareness about ovarian cancer and funds for the HERA Foundation. Wear teal and join 500 other women as you tackle a four-mile course of rolling hills in the West Creek complex. Speaking from experience, the swag for this one is always spot on.

New this year, if you can’t make it on the 11th, you can still join in as a virtual racer.

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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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