Celebrating its 42nd year!

A top Boston Marathon qualifying race

Race Day: November 16 2019

August 10 - November 16, 2019

Celebrating 11 Years of Training!

It turns out one really is the loneliest number… especially when you’re training for a half marathon. So join up with other motivated runners as you embark on a 14-week program that prepares you for the Nov. 16 Markel Richmond Half Marathon, a companion race of the VCU Health Richmond Marathon. Our training teams have an incredible corps of experienced coaches, as well as dedicated SAG support for those long Saturday runs, and we even offer informational clinics to keep you up-to-date on the latest in gear, nutrition, injury prevention and more. Did we mention this might be the coolest way to meet people in Richmond? Okay, so we don’t have proof, but we can guarantee you’ll end up with a few more pals than you had before.

Sports Backers Half Marathon Training Team

Here is what some past participants had to say about the program:
“There isn't one thing I can think of to make this team any better. All of the coaches and SAG folks do an amazing job. I talked my sister in to doing the training this year and within the first couple of weeks she said, "Now I know why you love this so much!" Thanks for another great 14 weeks and race!”Denise Carroll
“This was my second year on the team and I absolutely loved it. I shaved 6:40 off my time! I also had the motivation to get up and run distances I never thought I could because of the training team. It's such a fabulous experience. I am so thankful that I found this group. It has helped me challenge myself in ways I never thought possible. Thank you for all you do to organize us and keep us motivated!”Rachel Pryor
“I enjoyed every part of the training team and running my first half! The coaches were incredible and the support from other participants was amazing. I had no idea what to expect, and I was truly blown away by the camaraderie. The race itself was spectacular! I felt very prepared and capable. I loved seeing, hearing and being joined by the coaches on the route! Thank you so much for such and incredible experience! I am looking forward to next year!”Sarah Golightly

Your registration for the Half Marathon Training Team includes:

  • 14-week training program starting on Saturday, August 10, or Sunday, August 11 (you choose the day), with a detailed written schedule for you to follow
  • Personal guidance from veteran coach Ro Gammon and her team of experienced coaches
  • Organized and supported weekly group Saturday or Sunday morning runs from City Stadium
  • A special Sports Backers Half Marathon Training Team shirt and technical race shirt
  • FREE entry in the 2019 Markel Half Marathon and all associated race benefits
  • Special Race Day support from coaches along the course
  • Exclusive clothing drop on Race Day
  • Special clinics on subjects like nutrition, running attire, and other related topics 

Training Team Fees

$140 through August 2

$155 after August 2

How to Register

There are two ways to register:

  1. Register online through September 2. 

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

PLEASE NOTE:  All Training Team fees must be received by September 2 in order to participate in the program. 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 half marathon and want to participate in the training team? No problem! Send a check made out to Sports Backers for the difference in price between the training team fee and your half marathon entry fee you’ve paid for the event. Just indicate if you’d like to train with the novice or intermediate group, your typical pace/mile and your most recent 10k time.

Special Rates

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 $25 rate for the Half 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.

Entry Confirmation

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.

Training Team Details

Head Coach

Veteran coach Ro Gammon will again lead the Sports Backers Half Marathon Training Team. Ro has been the popular head coach of the Half Marathon Training Team since its inception and for the Midlothian YMCA 10k Training Team since 2001. She also served as a Marathon Training Team coach for 8 years. She is a certified personal trainer and running coach and has served as an Educator and Coach in the Powhatan School System for 34 years.





Saturday and Sunday Group Runs Offered

You have the option to do your Group Runs on Saturday or Sunday mornings from City Stadium. 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, August 10 and Sunday, August 11. There will be a short introductory meeting beginning at 7:30 a.m. followed by our first group run. Beginning the following week, starting times will change depending on team assignments. You will receive emails updating you on your start times.

Fitness Requirements to be on the Training Team

There is a 4-hour time limit to complete the Markel Richmond Half Marathon on November 16, so that requires running a good portion of the 13.1 miles. We do not have a "walking" group for the Training Team. You must be at least 14 years of age to participate.  If you are under the age of 16, you must have a parent/guardian present for all training runs.

Please Note:

  • Once you have registered for the Sports Backers Half Marathon Training Team, there will be no refund of entry fees if you are unable to complete the program.
  • If you choose to run the Richmond 8k rather than the Markel Richmond Half Marathon on November 16, you will be allowed to do so for no additional charge.
  • You may not defer your 2019 Sports Backers Half Marathon Training Team entry nor your free entry in the 2019 Markel Richmond Half Marathon to the 2020 event.
  • Strollers/Baby joggers are not permitted at group runs or in the Markel Richmond Half Marathon.

Directions to City Stadium

Richmond City Stadium
3201 Maplewood Avenue
Richmond, VA 23221

  • From the North: Interstate 95 South (exit 79) to 195 South (Downtown Expressway). Follow for 3 miles and take Rosewood Avenue Exit. Turn left on McCloy Street. Stadium is on the right.
  • From the South: Interstate 95 North (exit 74) to 195 North (Downtown Expressway, TOLL road, 50 cents). Take Rosewood Avenue Exit. Turn left on McCloy Street. Stadium is on the right.
  • From the West: Interstate 64 East to Interstate 195 South (Downtown Expressway). Follow for 3 miles and take Rosewood Avenue Exit. Turn left on McCloy Street. Stadium is on the right.
  • From the East: 64 West to 95 South. Take 195 North (Downtown Expressway). Follow for 3 miles and take Rosewood Avenue Exit. Turn left on McCloy Street. Stadium is on the right.