I am thinking about taking the plunge and doing a marathon. I have done about a dozen halfs, but haven't been brave enough to attempt a full. Has anyone ever ran the Richmond Marathon and think it is a good beginner race? I am also looking to find a running buddy to train with around Hampton Roads, Virginia if anyone knows of anyone else training for it. I figure a buddy for the long runs would be key. Thanks for any help or words of encouragement.
I've run the Richmond Marathon twice, including my first marathon. I may be biased, but I think it's a great race. The field is about 5,000, so it's a big enough marathon that there's plenty of crowd support, but it's not so huge like Marine Corps, Chicago or New York that you can't find your way out of there when it's over. Although it does have some hills, I wouldn't call it a hilly course, as most of them are gradual. I think you'll like it.
As far as a running partner, I can't help you as I live just outside of Richmond about 2 hours from you. But the marathon has a message board, so you could advertise there. Also, see if meetup.com has a running group where you live, or check your local running club's website. A fair number of people come up from the Tidewater area for this race, so hopefully you'll be able to find someone.
Good luck, and if you run about a 4:30 marathon, I'll probably see you there!
Hey! Richmond will be my first as well and, in fact, my first race over 20k. I've heard wonderful things about the race, including (from many folks) that its a really positive environment and a great venue for a first foray into the marathon realm. I'm unfortunately from the DC area, so I'm not a candidate for an 11th hour training partner, but I'm with you in spirit for sure! How's the training going on your end?
This will be my first marathon too! I hope it's a good race- I've raced 3 half Ironman Triathlons in the last 5 weeks, so I'm hoping I'm in shape--I just need to try out a few long runs in these next weeks and see how they feel.
Have you signed up yet? I'm waiting till after a 20-miler this weekend to see how that goes!