8k Training Team

September 20 - November 15, 2014

The Sports Backers 8k Training Team will give you motivation to get off that couch! The program is designed to train and encourage individuals to complete the HCA Virginia 8k, a companion race of the Anthem Richmond Marathon, on November 15. The 8-week program will begin on September 20 at 8:00 a.m. and will provide you with a day-by-day approach to achieving your goal—completing an 8k (that’s 4.97 miles)! What better way to train than to walk or run as part of a team with other motivated individuals and an experienced coaching staff? The 8k Training Team is a fun way to socialize while also doing something for yourself! It provides safety in numbers, a supportive environment, a social outlet, and more motivation than you could ever ask for! 

Here is what some past participants say they love most about Sports Backers Training Teams:

“Several years ago I walked a race with no training team or preparation. I decided to try again, but the right way this time. The training, clinics and meetings were so valuable! I enjoyed the Saturday experiences very much. Thank you for your encouragement!”
–Jan Sloan

“I loved everything about it—meeting the new people, getting great tips, and an overall awesome time!”
–Virginia Moncure

“I never expected the support, fun, and lifelong friendships I gained from the Training Team!”
–Lauren Caldas


How to Register

There are three ways to register:

  1. Register online through September 28.

    Register Now

  2. Sign up in person at one of the informational meetings listed below.
  3. Print out an entry form (available in early summer 2014) and mail it in with a check.

PLEASE NOTE:  All Training Team fees must be received by September 29 in order to participate in the program.


Here are all the benefits of signing up:

  • 8-week training program starting on Saturday, September 20 at 7:30 a.m. with a detailed written schedule for you to follow
  • Personal guidance from a team of experienced coaches
  • Organized and supported weekly group Saturday morning runs from several convenient locations around the city
  • A special Sports Backers 8k Training Team shirt
  • Entry in the 2014 HCA Virginia 8k and all associated race benefits
  • Special clinics on shoes and running attire and what to expect race day.

If you are interested in being a part of the Sports Backers 8k Training Team, sign up online or print out an entry form below. For more information, attend one of the informational meetings listed below or call (804) 285-9495. The deadline for entry in the Sports Backers 8k Training Team is September 28, 2014 at 11:59 p.m.


Informational Meetings

To learn more about the Sports Backers 8k Training Team, please attend one of these informational meetings. You do not need to attend a meeting in order to join the program. (Schedule subject to change)

Location Date Time
Check back in early summer for a list TBA TBA

Saturday Group Run/Walk locations

 The schedule for the weekly Saturday group run/walk at each facility is below.

Training Starts on September 20, 2014 at 7:30 a.m. at all locations

Training Schedule

When you arrive for the first Group Run/Walk on Saturday, September 20, you will receive a training booklet with the complete eight-week training schedule. Every Saturday you will meet at your local facility listed above. The other days of the week, you will be on your own to follow the training schedule.

Here is a sample of the first week’s training schedule: 


Group Walk/Run

1 Mile




Cross Train or Walk


1 Mile




1.5 Miles



Group Walk/Run

2 Miles



Training Team Fees



Special Income-based Rates Available

Those who make $20,000 or less annually or receive proven TANF, Food Stamp or Energy Assistance Benefits from Social Services are eligible for a special $10 rate for the 8k Training Team. Anyone interested in taking advantage of this income-based entry free, visit the Sports Backers office located at 100 Avenue of Champions, Richmond, VA 23230 to apply. Please bring with you one of the following:

- Verification/Eligibility letter from Social Services

- 2 most recent paystubs

- Tax Return

What the Entry Fee Includes

The Training Team fee includes your entry in the HCA Virginia 8k on November 15and the 8-week training program. 

As part of your participation in the program, you will receive a special Sports Backers 8k Training Team shirt. 

To register, sign up online. You can also choose to complete the print entry form and mail it with your check or bring it with you to one of the informational meetings. For additional information, please call the Sports Backers at (804) 285-9495.  All Training Team entry fees must be received by September 28 at 11:59 p.m. Training Team entry fees are non-refundable and entries are non-transferable, no exceptions.  Once we receive your entry, you will not receive a refund if you cannot participate.  You may not defer your 2014 Sports Backers 8k Training Team entry nor your entry in the 2014 HCA Virginia 8k to the 2015 event.


Check back for a list of clinics.

Entry Confirmation

Already registered? You can confirm your entry here.


Head Coach

Experienced Coach Dan Blankenship will lead the Sports Backers 8k Training team. You may recognize him from the 10k Training Team. Dan is a pro at this distance and will motivate you to walk or run the HCA Virginia 8k with a smile on your face! His extensive background in running includes finishing 18 marathons, 10 half marathons and numerous 10k and 5k races. He also has an impressive coaching history, having served as a coach for the last ten years on the YMCA 10k Training Team and also coaching with the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team and Richmond Road Runners Club. Dan is a certified USA Track and Field coach.Fitness Requirements to be on the Training Team

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