RICHMOND, Va. -- Cheers were met with exhaustion as thousands of runners from across the Richmond area took part in the annual Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K.
"This is my first 10K race, so I’m very happy I did it," runner Nora Hill said.
The race normally takes place in the spring along Monument Avenue, but the COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on race times until now, which made organizers choose four different parks for runners.
“So the four courses, Byrd Park, Deep Run Park, Henricus Historical Park and Dorey Park," Pete Woody with Sports Backers said.
"Plenty of social distancing, its plenty of space out there," runner Andrew Lengua added.
Lengua was one of 15,000 runners who signed up to run in the weekend long event, which has become an annual tradition for him and his family.
“Keegan has run about 4 or 5 races so far. For me, for a 10K, this is about 25 for me," Lengua said.
Lengua said runners can keep track of their own times through an app called Race Joy and submit them to race officials.
“You hold your phone with you, you run, finish the race and then the app automatically downloads your time," Lengua said.
The race brought out all ages and Saturday, including some first timers.
“It feels different, but I came out here and did it. Proud of myself," Hill said.
And a new challenge for those who have hit the pavement for decades.
“During Monument Avenue, it's so much flatter... This course today was nothing but hills. It was different challenge but still fun," Lengua said.
The locations are at Byrd Park in Richmond, Henricus Historical Park in Chesterfield, and Deep Run Park and Dorey Park in Henrico County. Additionally, there is also a virtual option for people who want to participate remotely. [Click here for course maps.]
Woody said that runners have until Sunday to complete the race at the four different parks, but those taking part virtually have until Oct. 18 to complete their race using the RaceJoy app or by uploading results here to have an official finisher time and be added to the event leaderboard.
The event is still offering a Dress Up & Run Contest for participants who want to suit up in costume and celebrate one of the most popular parts of the 10k.
To show off your costume on your run or walk, take a photo and upload it on the contest form, tag @sportsbackers on Instagram or use the #10kDressUp to enter.