Richmond Marathon Weekend

The Richmond marathon weekend has become a tradition for me thanks to the Meg’s Miles group. The group was formed in memory of Meg Cross Menzies, who was tragically killed by a drunk driver while out for a run in January 2014. Days later, runners from around the country and around the world ran in memory of Meg. From that, the Megs Miles family was born. The entire Richmond weekend is a big family reunion.

I headed up to Richmond on Thursday evening with my running buddy and fellow Megs Miler, Kim. On Friday morning, we were up bright and early for the Memorial Run.

Photo credit: Rosalyn

The group gathers at Meg’s memorial each year, where fellowship and prayer are shared before heading out for a two mile run. It was a chilly morning with light rain. But as always, it was great to come together and honor Meg and her family.

We followed the run with coffee and breakfast in downtown Ashland. From there I headed back to the hotel for a quick outfit change before heading back out for run number 2 of the day. Undeterred by the weather, my friend Doug (who traveled with his wife from Ohio for the weekend) and I headed into downtown Richmond for a lunchtime trail run.

It was still raining steadily, but the loop we ran was awesome. I couldn’t believe we were in the middle of Richmond! We got in about 6.5 miles, bringing the total for the day to 8.5-ish miles.

Photo credit: Doug

From there Doug dropped me off at the race expo on his way back to the hotel to pick up his wife. I got changed into dry clothes and did the whole expo bit (got my race bib, shirt, looked at vendor booths, etc.). Then I headed back to the hotel with Kim to grab a quick shower before we headed to the Friday evening Meg’s Miles pasta dinner.

At the expo. Photo credit: Jerry

In addition to the Meg’s Miles group, I’m also part of a group called “We Run for the Caffeine” that puts teams together to run the year in miles (so 2,018 miles in 2018). My team is Team GinnySas, with three of us being from Virginia and one from Arkansas. After a years time, we were finally reunited at the dinner.

Charlotte, Ashley, Kim, and me. Photo credit: Charlotte

After dinner it was off to bed – race morning was going to come early! On race day, I surprised myself and ran better than I expected. But more on that later. There’s a full recap coming.

My first ‘flat Meagan’ before a race.

After the race I got to meet up with my friend Liz, who I’ve known since Kindergarten but haven’t seen in awhile. She had a killer race and it was great to catch up with her at the finish line.

Per Meg’s Miles tradition, we all hung around at the finish line to cheer in all of the runners in the 8K, half marathon, and full marathon.

More GinnySas love.

Meg’s Miles group at the finish line.

After everyone finished their respective races, we continued with tradition and headed to Starbucks for coffee. I usually only drink black coffee, but after the race I like to treat myself. So I got a delicious caramel concoction. And then something really cool happened – Bart Yasso walked in. Not only did he hang with our group, but he sat at my table. Oh man! I was starstruck, but tried to play it cool. We talked to him for a little while and listened to his stories. He had some good ones!

Kim, Bart, and me.

Group photo with Bart. Photo credit: Brandy

After coffee it was back to the hotel once again for quick showers before heading to dinner. We got together with the group on Saturday night at a really neat nearby spot. Good food and good company!

Photo credit: Felix

Photo credit: Felix

On Sunday morning we visited the memorial so Kim could hang her shoes. From there, we headed to church with the Meg’s Miles group. After that, it was time to hit the road and head home. On the way home, Kim and I got to visit with my dad and have some lunch.

As you can see, the Richmond marathon weekend is a big one and it’s always very busy. This was my third year and I always leave with a full heart. It’s hard to find the words to describe how special this weekend and this group is. I’m truly blessed to be apart of it, though. The connections I’ve made and the people I’ve met are unlike anything else. Together, we Run for Meg and carry on her legacy as a runner and Christian.

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