June 1 - November 16, 2019
Celebrating 18 Years of Training!
Need help preparing to run a marathon? Looking to make new friends while you train? Then look no further than the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team, designed to motivate and train individuals to run the VCU Health Richmond Marathon. You’ll find yourself not just equipped with a detailed 24-week program, but a great crew of experienced coaches and inspirational teammates as well. One of our favorite perks? A dedicated SAG team that supports the longer group runs. That’s right… water stops, PowerAde and gummy bears while you TRAIN. So let Richmond’s running community carry you to 26.2… when you hit that final stretch at the Nov. 16 VCU Health Richmond Marathon, you’ll be glad you didn’t go it alone!
Here is what some past participants had to say about the program:
“Many of my running partners and close friendships have been developed as a result of MTT! It motivates me on weekends throughout the summer to stick to my plan which has resulted in me achieving many of my goals. The friendships and social aspect has also made training a more enjoyable experience than trying to train on your own.”Brittany Easter
“The teams, coaches, and information we received were all amazing and exactly what I was hoping when I signed up. This was my first year and I knew nobody going in, but came away with a bunch of new running friends and a lot more knowledge about marathon training/running.”Chris Strauss
“I'm not from Richmond originally, and meeting friends is hard as an adult. Through MTT, my circle of friends has grown significantly. I now have a group of friends that I regularly hang out with and run with during the off season as much I do during the training season.”Erin Folkenroth
Your registration for the Marathon Training Team includes:
- 24-week training program starting on Saturday, June 1 or Sunday, June 2 (you choose the day), with a detailed written schedule for you to follow
- Personal guidance from veteran team of experienced coaches
- Organized and supported weekly group runs on your choice of Saturday or Sunday mornings from Sports Backers Stadium, located next to The Diamond (time will change based on season)
- A special Sports Backers Marathon Training Team shirt and a technical race shirt
- FREE entry in the 42nd VCU Health Richmond Marathon on November 16 and all associated race benefits
- Special Race Day support along the course from coaches, and an exclusive clothing drop
- Special clinics on subjects like nutrition, running attire, and other related topics
Training Team Fees
$165 through May 19
$180 beginning May 20
How to Register
There are two ways to register:
Register online through Sunday, June 23.
Print out an entry form (available soon) and mail it in with a check.
Please note: 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.
Already signed up for the marathon and want to participate in the training team? No problem! Just click here on switching-races and follow the prompts. The system will charge you the difference between the marathon and the training team. If you orginially paid by check, you can send a check made out to Sports Backers for the difference in price between the training team fee and your marathon entry fee you’ve paid for the event. Just indicate if you’d like to train on Saturday or Sunday, with the early or late group (7 or 7:30), and whether you'd consider yourself a novice or intermediate. Also include your typical pace/mile and your most recent 10k time.
Those who make $25,000 or less annually or receive proven TANF, Food Stamp or Energy Assistance Benefits from Social Services are eligible for a special $30 rate for the Marathon 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 this completed form (available in early spring) along with one of the following:
- Verification/Eligibility letter from Social Services
- 2 most recent paystubs
- Tax Return
For more information, please call 285-9495 x247.
Already registered? You can confirm your entry here.
There will be clinics held on everything from injury prevention to nutrition to shoes. Check back as this list gets updated.
Sports Backers HALF Marathon Training Team
Is a full marathon too much for you? The Sports Backers offer a Half Marathon Training Team to train for the Markel Richmond Half Marathon, a companion race of the VCU Health Richmond Marathon, on November 16. The 14-week program will begin on August 10. If you register for the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team and then decide to switch to the Half Marathon Training Program, you will be allowed to do so for a $10 fee.
Carrie helps lead the Team, bringing with her nine years of experience with the MTT and five years coaching the YMCA 10k Training Team. She actively supports and trains with many athletes within our local community. She's deeply grounded with the desire to see everyone get active and happy, regardless of the speed or the distances...so let's get moving!
After helping a co-worker train for her first 10K in 2005 with the YMCA, they both decided to tackle the ½ marathon. For Jake, he decided to use the Marathon Training Team to get him to his goal. He figured if he could survive the training for the Half Marathon, then he might stick around for the Full. Stick around he did. A few MTT seasons later, he was asked to be an Assistant Coach. And a few more after that, he was Head Coach of his own team. With 20+ marathons, ultras, multi-sport, and relay races under his belt, Jake still enjoys the odd 2 AM run in the woods or 10 miles on snow covered streets. After 10+ years of coaching with MTT and other 10K training programs, Jake looks forward to helping his fellow coaches motivate even more people reach their goal of an amazing marathon finish.
After attempting to train for a marathon solo, Kevin found the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team and has been with them for 17 years, 10 years as a coach. MTT helped Kevin complete 20 plus marathons, achieve his goal of running a sub three hour marathon, and qualifying for numerous New York City and Boston Marathons. Kevin is certified as an RRCA Adult Distance Running Coach. Helping runners find success, however they define it, is his main goal.
Saturday and Sunday Group Runs Offered
You have the option to do your Group Runs on Saturday or Sunday mornings from the Sports Backers Stadium located next to The Diamond. Please indicate your preference on the entry form. There is a limit of 800 participants in the Saturday group run sessions and a limit of 400 participants in the Sunday group run sessions.
The first group runs will be Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2. There will be a short introductory meeting beginning at 7:30 a.m. followed by our first group run. Beginning the following week, the Sunday run will start at 7 a.m. On Saturdays, the larger group will be divided into multiple groups starting between 7:00 and 7:30 a.m. To beat the summer heat, from early July until Labor Day, all start times will be 30 minutes earlier.
Fitness Requirements to be on the Training Team
There is a 7-hour time limit to complete the VCU Health Richmond Marathon on November 16, so that requires maintaining an average pace of about 16 minutes per mile for the entire 26.2 miles. Based on the industry standard pace calculators, comparable times would be about 3 hours, 20 minutes for a half marathon or 1 hour, 30 minutes for a 10k. Each participant should be able to comfortably finish four miles several times per week while primarily running prior to starting the Training Team on June 2/3. We will monitor the progress of all of our runners during the early part of our training to make sure you have the fitness to complete the marathon in the required time. You must be 18 years or older to join the Training Team.
Throughout the 24-week program, some local races may be used as training runs. These races may require additional entry fees and will be optional.
- Once you have registered for the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team, there will be no refund of entry fees if you are unable to complete the program.
- Already signed up for the marathon and want to participate in the training team? No problem! Just click here on switching-races and follow the prompts. The system will charge you the difference between the marathon and the training team. If you originally paid by check, send a check made out to Sports Backers for the difference in price between the training team fee and your marathon entry fee you’ve paid for the event. Just indicate if you’d like to train on Saturday or Sunday, with the early or late group (7 or 7:30), and whether you'd consider yourself a novice or intermediate. Also include your typical pace/mile and your most recent 10k time.
- If you choose to run the Markel Richmond Half Marathon or Richmond 8k, rather than the VCU Health Richmond Marathon, on November 16, you may do so for no additional cost. You will be able to make this switch beginning in late June.
- You may not defer your 2019 Sports Backers Marathon Training Team entry nor your free entry in the 2019 VCU Health Richmond Marathon to the 2020 event.
- Strollers/Baby joggers are not permitted at group runs or in the VCU Health Richmond Marathon.