Celebrating its 40th year!

A top Boston Marathon qualifying race

Race Day: November 11 2017

September 16 - November 11, 2017

They say there’s strength in numbers… and we couldn’t agree more! Training for the Nov. 11 VCU Health 8k can be a challenge, but doing it in a group setting with a crew of supportive coaches and teammates is sure to get you to the finish line. Spend 8 weeks in a program catered to runners and walkers of all abilities – you’ll quickly realize how fun (yes, FUN!) training can be and how easy it is to make new friends. So take some time for yourself, your health, and your social life and meet us Sept. 16 at one of our convenient locations. Lace ‘em up, folks – it’s time to get moving!

Join our Traveling Team! Tired of doing the same routes? Then take advantage of all the uniquely RVA places you can run and walk. This group will meet up at different locations each week such as…the Virginia Capital Trail, The Fan, Brown’s Island and more! Post-training you can explore each area by going to a local coffee shop, or brunch location with some of your new 8k Training Team friends!

Sports Backers 8k Training Team

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 24. 

  2. Sign up in person at one of the informational meetings listed below.

  3. Print out an entry form and mail it in with a check.

PLEASE NOTE:  All Training Team fees must be received by September 24 in order to participate in the program.


Training Team Fees



Special Income-based Rates Available

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 $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 this completed form along with one of the following:

- Verification/Eligibility letter from Social Services
- 2 most recent paystubs
- Tax Return


What the Entry Fee Includes

  • Training Starts on September 16, 2017 at 8 a.m. at all locations (except the Peter Paul Development Center and the Traveling Team, which meet 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
  • FREE entry in the 2017 VCU Health 8k and all associated race benefits


Please Note

  • All Training Team entry fees must be received by September 24 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 2017 Sports Backers 8k Training Team entry nor your free entry in the 2017 VCU Health 8k to the 2018 event.
  • Strollers and baby joggers are not allowed at group training sessions or in the VCU Health 8k.
  • You must be at least 8 years of age to participate. If you are under the age of 16, you must have a parent/guardian present for all training runs.


Saturday Group Run/Walk locations

The schedule for the weekly Saturday group run/walk at each facility is below.
Locations and time subject to change.

Training Starts on September 16, 2017 at 8 a.m. at all locations (except the Peter Paul Development Center and the Traveling Team, which meet at 7:30 a.m.)

  • Bellemeade Community Center1800 Lynhaven Ave, Richmond 23224
  • Carytown: Richmond Shopping Center - 3522 W Cary St, Richmond, VA 23221
  • Chesterfield County Health Dept. - 9501 Lucy Corr Circle, Chesterfield 23832
  • The Millworks at the Green - 13872 Coalfield Commons Pl., Midlothian, VA 23114
  • New Highland Baptist Church - 9200 New Ashcake Road, Mechanicsville 23116
  • Peter Paul Development Center - 1708 N 22nd St, Richmond, VA 23223
  • Short Pump: Whole Foods Market - 11173 W Broad St, Glen Allen, VA 23060
  • Traveling Team - This group will meet up at different locations each week such as…the Virginia Capital Trail, The Fan, Brown’s Island and more! You are also always welcome to train at one of the above locations any week you like!
    • Week One (9/16) Travel Team location: Meet in the parking lot behind the Starbucks located at corner of Virginia Center Parkway and Brook Road (1091 Virginia Center Parkway, Glen Allen, VA 23059)
    • Week Two (9/23) Travel Team location: Meet in the Belle Isle parking lot (at the corner of Tredegar Street and Brown's Island Way - a.k.a. 2nd Street Connector)
    • Week Three (9/30) Travel Team location: Meet at the Panera Bread in Carytown (10 N Nansemond St., Richmond, VA 23221)


Training Schedule

When you arrive for the first Group Run/Walk on Saturday, September 16, 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:

Saturday 9/16/2017Sunday 9/17/2017Monday 9/18/2017Tuesday 9/19/2017Wednesday 9/20/2017Thursday 9/21/2017Friday 9/22/2017Saturday 9/23/2017

Group Walk/Run

1 Mile Walk/Run


Cross Train or Walk

1 Mile


1.5 Miles Easy


Group Walk/Run

2 Miles


Entry Confirmation

Already registered? You can confirm your entry here.



There will be clinics held on topics from injury prevention to nutrition to shoes. Check back as this list gets updated.