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Sports Backers Half Marathon Training Team kicks off on Aug. 10 and 11

RICHMOND, VA – The Sports Backers Half Marathon Training Team kicks off the training period for this year’s team with group runs at City Stadium beginning on Saturday, August 10. Registration remains open for the Half Training Team, which has been under the direction of head coach Ro Gammon since its creation in 2009. This 14-week program is designed to prepare runners for the Markel Richmond Half Marathon on Saturday, November 16th, which is part of the VCU Health Richmond Marathon weekend. The program emphasizes the group approach to training.

“Although this was not my first time running the half marathon, it was my first time training with a team,” said Renada Lewis, a 2018 participant. “Words cannot express how impressed I was with the tremendous organization, energy, care, communication and expertise that was afforded to me and all participants during this training. Simply put: AWESOME!”

“There is no better way to prepare for the half marathon. I love that all the routes are pre-selected and feature multiple water stops, not to mention that they cover nearly all of the race course. Also, the coaches are incredibly knowledgeable and friendly,” added past participant Mark O’Brien. “Over the last few years, I’ve brought several of my friends to the party, and each one says joining the HMTT was the best race-prep decision they made.”

Participants will meet at City Stadium every Saturday or Sunday morning for a group run with experienced and knowledgeable coaches who 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 16. Half Marathon Training Team participants will receive:

  • 14-week training program starting on August 10th and 11th (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 2019 Markel Richmond Half Marathon and all associated race benefits
  • Special race-day support from coaches along the course
  • 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 in the finish festival (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 September 2. Visit for more information.