Fall leaves

Three nonprofits going the extra mile this fall

As the dog days of summer fall behind us and cooler air is around the corner, it’s time for RVA to get outside and get active! Over the years, marathons and runs have been an integral part of RVA culture, and the Richmond community has proven its commitment to crossing a finish line.

We’ve rounded up three nonprofits that are supporting health-related causes, helping Richmonders move their bodies and making a difference in the community. Discover the River City and get a little sweaty!

VCU Health: Richmond Marathon

The 2021 VCU Health Richmond Marathon is set to return to Downtown Richmond this September, and you’re invited! Hosted by nonprofits Kids Run RVA and Sports Backers, the Richmond Marathon course runs through scenic and historic sections of the city, along and across the beautiful James River, and features rolling hills. The course is excellent for first-time runners and seasoned professionals as it’s USA Track & Field sanctioned and certified and a top Boston Qualifier. Virtual options are also available to those unable to attend in person.

Need help preparing? The Richmond Marathon is offering in-person and virtual training for its 8k, half marathon and full marathon to help you reach your personal goals. The Sports Backers Marathon Training Team is staffed with experienced coaches, working hard to motivate and instruct individuals to reach the finish line. Its program is designed to be inclusive and community-oriented for all ages.

This event kicks off on Saturday, Nov. 13, at 7:45 a.m. and registration is open now. If you’re able to give, a $50 donation to Kids Run RVA (the official event charity) automatically reduces your race entry fee by $20. 

Epilepsy Foundation VA: Tour de Midnight

Founded in 1978, The Epilepsy Foundation of Virginia helps to fight and overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and seeks to find cures and save lives. This fall, the Foundation will host its sixth annual Tour de Midnight bike ride event to promote awareness and provide assistance to those living with the disorder.

Take in the beautiful fall foliage as you ride through central VA on two wheels. With three courses to choose from, there is an option for every biking level. The event starts and finishes at the Midnight Brewery in Rockville, Va., on Saturday, Oct. 16. After the ride, participants are invited to enjoy food trucks, craft beer, live music, fun games and goodie bags. 

All proceeds will benefit the Epilepsy Foundation of Virginia, and 97% of these funds will stay in Virginia to support Virginians. Register for the Tour de Midnight here.  

CKG Foundation: SpeakUp5k Richmond

The SpeakUp5k was designed by 16-year-old Cameron Gallagher to raise awareness for teen anxiety and depression in a healthy way. However, before she could carry out her 5k plan, in 2014, the RVA community suffered an unimaginable loss. Gallagher suddenly passed away from an undiagnosed heart condition just moments after crossing the Shamrock half marathon finish line. Gallagher’s family was able to carry on her legacy by sharing Cameron’s SpeakUp5k dream with the world. This fall, The Cameron Gallagher Foundation (CKG) is hosting its eighth annual SpeakUp5k. 

Throughout the course, Cameron planned fun zones to keep runners determined and smiling. You may find yourself running through a “Rave” fun zone or getting squirted by water guns. Another impactful part of the race is “Quote Alley,” where Cameron’s drawings and quotes are displayed to inspire runners. At the end of every SpeakUp5k, there will be a party awaiting the participants.

The event will kick off at 9:00 a.m. on Sept. 11 at Byrd Park. Help increase awareness of mental illnesses and join the 5k here. Additionally, virtual registration is also available for those unable to attend in person.

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