Tobacco Avenue's Tips For Attending: The Richmond Marathon

Heading to the Richmond Marathon this Saturday, either as a runner or cheerer-oner?  Whether you run, walk, or watch, be sure to follow these simple guidelines to make the most out of the big race: 

Like the recent presidential election, this race will be won by a black man with a kinda funny-sounding name.

The event ismarathon billed as “America’s Friendliest Marathon,” due to shortening the course to 1.5 miles from the traditional 26, and allowing – in fact, encouraging – participants to use Segways.

If you choose to spectate, it is your duty to clap for four straight hours or until hands are bloodied, no exceptions.

At some point, runners hit what is referred to as “The Wall.”  And if runners take a wrong turn, they may hit “The Interstate” or fall into “The River.”

Parking downtown is a total nightmare on race day, though it’s still much easier to find spaces than on a typical weekday.

Medical assistance is available if you need it, pansy.

To help inspire and motivate race participants, many musical acts will be playing along the course, including the entire 100-piece Richmond Symphony Orchestra at Mile 2.

The pack of runners will be led by at least four Jamaicans, who are incredibly fast, thin and nope, hold on a sec.  We’re thinking of the 1988 Olympic bobsled team.  “Kenyans” was the race we were looking for.

There is also a half marathon, an 8k, and a kids run corresponding with the event. The Walk of Shame back to your apartment has been cancelled this year.

Several aid stations are found throughout the course to keep you hydrated and fueled. Water and Gatorade are found at miles two, six, 10, 12, 16, and 22, with cigarette and smokeless tobacco stops at all other mile markers to keep with the Richmondy theme.

First place gets $2,500, second place gets $1,500, and you don’t want to know what third place gets.  You’re better off – and will be allowed to keep both legs – by finishing fourth or worse.

Though a spaghetti dinner is held the night before the event, everyone goes to that.  Get the upper hand by polishing off a ribeye steak, mashed potatoes and a bottle of wine the night before.

The 12.6-oz. Nike Air Zoom Equalon +3 running shoe, with its dual-density compression molded EVA midsole, carbon-rubber outsole and seamless melded overlays offers one of the most stable, cushioned and natural-feel running shoes ever made.  Or, just go in your comfy slippers.

You must pick up your race packet a day before the race at the Arthur Ashe Center, because, as you know, playing a game of tennis has so much to do with running a frigging marathon.

Marathon runners come in all shapes, sizes and ages, with one common thread binding them: they are all completely insane for doing this.

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