June 3 - November 11, 2017
Celebrating 16 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 Anthem Richmond Marathon. You’ll find yourself not just equipped with a detailed 23-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. 11 Anthem Richmond Marathon, you’ll be glad you didn’t go it alone!
Here is what some past participants had to say about the program:
“I would HIGHLY recommend this program to anyone who wants to run a marathon. I could have never, ever done this without the Sports Backers’ MTT!”Melissa Daniels
“I could not have finished the marathon where I did without my coaches. I was so impressed with their dedication to me and my goals. Throughout the entire training season, these coaches were always out there, always encouraging, and always supportive!”Gail Schechter
“AMAZING! Exceeded every expectation. (It) was the best thing that happened to me all year.”Nicole Link-Troen
Your registration for the Marathon Training Team includes:
- 23-week training program starting on Saturday, June 3 or Sunday, June 4 (you choose the day), with a detailed written schedule for you to follow
- Personal guidance from veteran coaches Don Garber, Sean Cusack, Carrie Parker, and their 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 40th Anniversary Anthem Richmond Marathon on November 11 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
Need some more information? Come to one of our informational meetings below or call the Sports Backers at (804) 285-9495. You do not need to attend a meeting in order to join the program. (Schedule subject to change)
|Sports Backers Stadium
||Thursday, May 11
|Sports Backers Stadium
||Wednesday, May 17
Training Team Fees
$165 through May 19
$180 after May 19
How to Register
There are three ways to register:
Register online through Sunday, June 25.
Sign up in person at one of the informational meetings listed above.
- Print out an entry form 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 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 x250.
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.
Running form/Injury prevention clinic
Monday, June 19
6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
VCU Health Now Center
Thursday, July 13
6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
VCU Health NOW Center
Mental Health Clinic
Tuesday, September 19
6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
VCU Health NOW Center
Fleet Feet Gear Up Days
Thursday, June 15
Monday, June 26
Thursday, July 20
Fleet Feet will be hosting Gear Up events for all those training with the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team! Visit either the Westhampton (5600 Patterson Ave, Richmond, VA 23226) or Short Pump (11651 West Broad St. Henrico, VA 23233) location and get 10% off all in-store products from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
In addition, Shoe and Gear Clinics will take place 6 p.m. at the following locations:
- June 15 (Westhampton)
- June 26 (Short Pump)
- July 20 (Westhampton)
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 Anthem Richmond Marathon, on November 11. The 14-week program will begin on August 5. 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.
Veteran marathon training team coach, Don Garber, will again lead the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team. He has helped thousands of first-time marathoners successfully complete the 26.2-mile distance in races around the country and overseas, including the past 16 Richmond Marathons. Most of the coaches who have assisted Don in prior years will also be returning.
Sean Cusack will again help lead the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team. Sean has been a coach with the Team for the past 12 years and was a participant in 2003 and 2004. Sean has worked with runners of all experience levels in their quest to run a marathon and has a great knack for mixing humor with his running messages. Sean was also the head coach for the Sports Backers Duathlon Training Team.
Carrie Parker helps lead the Team, bringing with her eight years of experience with the MTT and two 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!
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 3 and Sunday, June 4. 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 Anthem Richmond Marathon on November 11, 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 3/4. 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 23-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 VCU Health 8k, rather than the Anthem Richmond Marathon, on November 11, 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 2017 Sports Backers Marathon Training Team entry nor your free entry in the 2017 Anthem Richmond Marathon to the 2018 event.
- Strollers/Baby joggers are not permitted at group runs or in the Anthem Richmond Marathon.