August 8 – November 14, 2020

Celebrating 12 Years of Training!

COVID-19 Update:

We’re excited to announce that our Sports Backers Half Marathon Training Team is still on…we’ll be switching a few things up this year, but your favorite parts of training will be the same!  HMTT is a huge part of our summer, and we hope you will consider signing up to be part of the HMTT family. 
 
The Sports Backers Half Marathon Training Team will be held virtually for the first week of training (Aug 8/9) to ensure that we can all safely meet each other via ZoomWeek 2 we’re ready to run – and will meet in smaller teams at City Stadium (or other areas around town depending on coach comfort levels) with some other social distance measures being put into effect. Your weekly training schedule will be virtual, so you can have easy access to your schedule anywhere you go. You’ll still have a supportive team of coaches and friends that are ready to help you every step of your journey to 13.1! 

We’ll be adding the following perks to HMTT:

  • How To Videos
  • Fitness & Post Run Recovery Videos
  • SAG “care package” for you

Updates as a result of COVID-19

  • Half Marathon Training Team Participant Options
    • Participate in the event from November 7-22
    • Participate in the event virtually
    • Defer your 2020 Sports Backers Half Marathon Training Team entry to the 2021 Half Marathon Training Team until September 30 at no cost
    • Donate your full training team registration fee to Sports Backers by completing this form by September 30
  • Available deferral of your 2020 Sports Backers Half Marathon Training Team entry to the 2021 Half Marathon Training Team through September 30 at no cost.
  • Extended registration to September 30 and eliminated the price increase, keeping the price at $140 for the remainder of the registration period.
  • Virtual opening weekend to kick off HMTT on August 8/9 to avoid congregating in a large group for an extended amount of time.
  • Staggered group run start times and potentially multiple start locations, beginning with in-person training August 15/16
  • No large group meetings; participants will be divided into smaller sub teams
  • Limited SAG support – we encourage participants to always bring their own hydration and nutrition
  • Further alternatives, modifications, and new approaches possible based on future guidelines to guarantee health and safety of runners
  • If you choose to wait to register for HMTT you should be able to comfortably meet the following fitness levels:
    • 5 miles by August 29
    • 8 miles by September 26
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 an incredible experience! I am looking forward to next year!
– Sarah Golightly

Half Marathon Training Team registration includes:

  • 14-week training program starting virtually on Saturday, August 8, or Sunday, August 9 (you choose the day), with a detailed schedule for you to follow
  • Personal guidance from our veteran team of experienced coaches
  • Organized and supported weekly group Saturday or Sunday morning runs (in-person runs to begin August 15 & 16)
  • A special Sports Backers Half Marathon Training Team shirt and technical race shirt
  • FREE entry in the 2020 Richmond Half Marathon and all associated race benefits
  • Special Race Day support from coaches along the course
  • Clinics on subjects like nutrition, running attire, and other related topics
  • How To Videos
  • Fitness & Post Run Recovery Videos
  • SAG “care package” for you

Half Training Team Fees

$140
Because of the pandemic, we have eliminated the price increase and extended registration until September 30.

Registration

There are two ways to register:

  1. Register online through August 31
  2. Print out an entry form and mail it in with payment

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 half 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 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 per mile and your most recent 10k time.

Income Based Rate

At Sports Backers, our mission is to inspire people from all corners of our community to live actively. Engaging underserved populations is one of our core values and one way we act on this value is by offering Income Based Rates for all of our training teams. These special rates are offered to those who qualify and would otherwise not be able to participate.

Those who make $25,000 or less annually or receive proven TANF, Food Stamp or Energy Assistance Benefits from Social Services and are not currently claimed as a dependent by anyone making above $25,000 annually are eligible for a special $25 rate for the Half Marathon Training Team  Please provide one of the following documents for verification:

  • Verification/Eligibility letter from Social Services
  • Most Recent Tax Return

For those that qualify for the income-based entry fee, please come by our office or mail the completed entry form and your verification document to Sports Backers, 100 Avenue of Champions, Richmond, VA 23230

For more information, please email [email protected].

Entry Confirmation

Already registered? You can confirm your entry here.

Additional Info

If you can’t find the information you are looking for below, please email the head coach.

Important Rules & Notes

  • 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.
  • Training Team entry fees are non-refundable, no exceptions. Once we receive your entry, you will not receive a refund if you cannot participate or are unable to complete the program.
  • You may defer your 2020 Sports Backers Half Marathon Training Team entry to 2021 through September 30 at no cost. After that date, there will be no more deferrals. Please note that your free entry in the 2020 Richmond Half Marathon, by itself, may not be deferred to the 2021 event.
  • If you choose to run the Allianz Partners 8k rather than the Richmond Half Marathon on November 14, you will be allowed to do so for no additional charge.
  • Strollers/Baby joggers are not permitted at group runs or in the Richmond Half Marathon.

Head Coach

Cheryl Groce-WrightThis year we welcome our new Sports Backers Half Marathon Training Team Head Coach, Cheryl Groce-Wright. This comes after long-time head coach, Ro Gammon, retired and hand selected Cheryl as her replacement. It is safe to say we are all in good hands!

Cheryl Groce-Wright is a long-time Richmond resident moving to the area in 1993 from Philadelphia. She is a native Philadelphian, raised in upstate NY (Binghamton to be exact) from age four.  She is employed in the education and nonprofit fields having worked in executive administration, counseling, program management, and social science research.  She is a proud graduate of SUNY Oswego, Univ of Pennsylvania and VCU.

Cheryl began running later in life after deciding that better fitness and weight loss were important priorities approaching the age of 50. She ran her first Ukrop’s Monument Ave 10K in 2009 having trained with the 10K Training team, and after encouragement from a Half Training Team coach decided to train for and ran her first Richmond Half Marathon in November 2009.  Months later, a bone density test revealed what would become full-blown osteoporosis by the age of 50. Having learned that weight-bearing exercise was the best way to treat and stave off the deterioration of bone density, she became a “runner” and made a commitment that her exercise regimen would always include some type of running.

Cheryl attempted (DNF) her first full marathon in September 2010 and completed a second Half in November 2010 and was hooked on “Halfs” for life.  She acted as an unofficial HMTT coach in 2011 and became an official coach for the 2012 Penguins Half Training Team.  Since then, she has completed four full marathons, over 20 Halfs, and numerous 10K & 5K events, two Sprint Triathlons, and coached every Half training team season since 2012.  She is an energetic/enthusiastic cheerleader, a get-it-done kind of person, and will be everyone’s biggest fan!!! Don’t be surprised to see her around in a T-Rex or numerous Minion regalia.

Cheryl is married to Richard (27+ years) and mom to Nigel and Carson who are both pursuing their educational careers, one at VA Tech, the other at University of Richmond.

Saturday and Sunday Group Runs Offered

You have the option to do your Group Runs on Saturday or Sunday mornings from City Stadium (or other areas around town depending on coach comfort levels). Please indicate your preference during registration.We will begin this year virtually for the first week of training (Aug 8/9) to ensure that we can all safely meet each other via Zoom. Then the next weekend (Aug 15/16) we will begin in-person training with your teams. If your team chooses to meet at City Stadium for the official HMTT route, your team will be scheduled a staggered start time and depending on the size of your team will then leave from the stadium in smaller groups to allow for social distancing on course. Your team coach will also have the option to meet at another location around the Region and plan a route from there. These options are in place to allow a variety of comfort levels and as well as to keep participants spread out. 

Fitness Requirements to be on the Half Marathon Training Team

There is a four-hour time limit to complete the Richmond Half Marathon, 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 registered for training team and present for all training runs.

Clinics

There will be clinics held on everything from injury prevention to nutrition to shoes. A schedule of these events will be given to registered Half Marathon Training Team members.  Pre-registration is required.  Registration links will be emailed out closer to clinic dates.

Directions to City Stadium

Weekly Group Training runs take place at:

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.