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Sports Backers Blog

Sports Backers Half Marathon Training Team Celebrating 10th Anniversary in 2018

RICHMOND, VA – The Sports Backers Half Marathon Training Team is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2018, and coaches and participants held a birthday party at its first group sessions on August 4th and 5th complete with a cake to mark the occasion. Registration remains open for the Half Training Team, and the program has been under the direction of head coach Ro Gammon since its creation. This 14-week program is designed to prepare runners for the Markel Richmond Half Marathon on Saturday, November 10th, which is part of the Anthem Richmond Marathon weekend. The program emphasizes the group approach to training.

“2017 was my second year on the team and I absolutely loved it. I shaved 6:40 off my time!” said Rachel Pryor, a 2018 participant from Richmond. “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.”

“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,” added Sarah Golightly of Henrico. “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!”

Participants will meet at City Stadium every Saturday or Sunday morning for a group run with experienced and knowledgeable coaches that offer training advice and feedback. During the week, runners follow a written training schedule on their own that will gradually prepare them to safely complete 13.1 miles on November 11. Half Marathon Training Team participants will receive:

  • 14-week training program starting on August 4th and 5th (participants choose their preferred day) with a detailed written schedule for participants 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 to wear during the race
  • FREE entry in the 2018 Markel Richmond 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

Also available is a virtual training team option, in which out-of-town participants will be equipped with a detailed weekly program and have access to experienced coaches to correspond with throughout the training process. Virtual team members are invited to take part in the final HMTT 12-mile supported training run in Richmond, and on race day, they will be provided with a meet-up tent (shared with the Marathon Training Team).

The cost of the Half Marathon Training Team is currently $155, which includes free entry into the Markel Richmond Half Marathon. The virtual program may be added to your Markel Richmond Half Marathon registration for $55. Online registration is available through August 26. Visit for more information.