Celebrating its 41st year!

A top Boston Marathon qualifying race

Race Day: November 10 2018

September 15 - November 10, 2018

They say there’s strength in numbers… and we couldn’t agree more! Training for the Nov. 10 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. 15 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 (beginning in early Summer 2018) through September 23. 

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

  3. Print out an entry form (available in early Summer 2018) and mail it in with a check.

PLEASE NOTE:  All Training Team fees must be received by September 23 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 (available in early Summer 2018) 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 15, 2018 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 2018 VCU Health 8k and all associated race benefits


Please Note

  • All Training Team entry fees must be received by September 23 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 2018 Sports Backers 8k Training Team entry nor your free entry in the 2018 VCU Health 8k to the 2019 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 15, 2018 at 8 a.m. at all locations (except the Peter Paul Development Center and the Traveling Team, which meet at 7:30 a.m.)


Training Schedule

When you arrive for the first Group Run/Walk on Saturday, September 15, 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 9/15/2018Sunday 9/16/2018Monday 9/17/2018Tuesday 9/18/2018Wednesday 9/19/2018Thursday 9/20/2018Friday 9/21/2018Saturday 9/22/2018

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.