A runner friend recently asked me to look up some local races and send her links so she can arrange a visit and a run at the same time. This seemed like something that might be useful for others too so here are the coming race links that I sent her. I used to run and I’ll include some pictures from past races where I have them.
April 4th – Miles in Martinsville Half Marathon & 5K
This may be the biggest race in the immediate area. The half marathon runs on the Dick & Willie Passage Rail Trail and the 5K runs through Uptown. There is also a walk for the non-running crowd. There is also a full line up of events the day before:
3 PM Tech Session: Running Form 101: Proper Running Mechanics for Injury Prevention and Longevity in the Sport
4 PM Tech Session: You Go Girl: Fitness for Women from Puberty through Postmenopause
5 PM Meet & Mingle
5:30 PM Pasta Buffet Dinner
7 to 8 PM After Dinner Speaker Bart Yasso
April 18th – Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon
This is a hard one but a big one and a Boston qualifier, I think. It is called the “Toughest Road Marathon” with over 7,430 feet of elevation change. For my friend who has run Boston at least twice, the nice thing about this is that we can explore Roanoke afterwards. If you can still walk.
May 2 – SOVAH Super Run 5K & 8K
This one runs through the Druid Hills/Forest Park residential neighborhood in Martinsville around the private Lake Lanier. I haven’t run this one but I have run the Great Goblin Gallop 5K around Lake Lanier, which is very pretty. The Goblin Gallop is held each year in October and is put on by Henry County. This route in May should be very green and anything that flowers should be out in full force.
May 16 – Strawberry Festival 5K?
There has been a 5K just before the annual Strawberry Festival for the past few years but I’m not seeing updated info about one for 2020. Too early?
The nice thing about the Stuart Festival races is that they end just as the festivals start up and the festivals are definitely worth visiting.
June 20 – The Covered Bridge 5K
The Covered Bridge 5K is arguably one of the prettiest runs in the area. The area around Woolwine had two historic covered bridges – Jack’s Creek and the Bob White bridge. Unfortunately, the more impressive of the two, the Bob White bridge, was washed away by heavy rains a few years ago. Still, there is a small festival that goes along with the 5K and the landscape is absolutely stunning. They haven’t updated their web site yet but the Patrick County website shows the new date to be June 20th. Of all the area races, this would be my top pick for showing off the natural beauty of this corner of Virginia.
And, yes, there are hills but they really aren’t all that bad.
August 15 – The Martinsville Speedway Mile
I haven’t been to this one but it looks to be more competitive with two laps around the famous Martinsville Speedway looking for a pace of a six-and-a-half minute mile. There is a non-competitive walk too.
August 22nd – Smith River Festival Helgramite Mud Run
This one is part of the Smith River Festival and there are all kinds of events going on as part of the festival. There’s, of course, the vendor booths, but there is also a rubber duck race down the river and a boat race. Unless it rains, this one has a very high chance of fun. I’ve attended the festival once but it rained and they shut down early so I don’t have any photos.
October 2 – Harvest Moon Run 5K & 10K & Dancing on the Depot
The Harvest Moon run meets at the trailhead for the Uptown Connection Trail and is run entirely on the Dick & Willie Passage Rail Trail. Weather can be iffy. It generally always seem to threaten rain but then holds off enough for the run. There is food and music but the turn out for the Dancing on the Depot is generally small, consisting of runners and their friends and family. The race is he central focus and the trail is beautiful.
So this list is by no means exhaustive. I’ve left out Danville, which is close and has an active race calendar. I’ve also left out most of Roanoke and all of Greensboro. I also left off some later in the year.
Be it as it is, these are the races I’ve suggested to my runner friend.
Until next time,