Ukrops Monument Avenue 10K -2013

Recreation for us this weekend is fairly relaxed. We settled down to watch day 3 yesterday and we’ll watch the final day today of the Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club, where we hold our breath for our favorite golfer to end up wearing that coveted green jacket.

Augusta National Golf Club

Augusta National Golf Club via Wikipedia

For running fans out there, excitement this weekend will be the preparations for Monday’s Boston Marathon, the oldest annual marathon in the USA. I read recently that it is the most widely viewed sporting event in New England.

Now, not as large but just as exciting to locals back in Virginia was the party atmosphere at the annual Ukrops Monument Avenue 10K race in Richmond that took place Saturday. Nearly 40,000 participants raced on Monument Avenue, an beautiful boulevard lined with historic homes, grassy medians, beautiful trees, and grand statues of Robert E. Lee, J.E.B. Stuart, Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson, Matthew Fontaine Maury, and Arthur Ash.

 J.E.B. Stuart

J.E.B. Stuart via Wikipedia

I had a front row seat for The Monument Avenue 10K even though I wasn’t there. My brother and niece participated and texted photos along the route. Runnner’s World has called the event a “must run,” and USA Today has named it to their 2009 “10 great places for runners to hit the road.” What a gorgeous day for a race!

Image 2To give me an idea of the number of people out and about today, I was texted this photo of some of the portable toilets. The organizers of the event, Sports Backers, supplied a total of 374 portable toilets along the route.

Whether it’s a group raising money for charity or the adrenaline rush of a first time participant’s finish, the atmosphere was electric. The party mood of the race was emphasized by the Richmond Times Dispatch’s “Dress Up & Run” contest where participants who enter can vie for a cash prize. Of course, there were some who just liked to dress up to support the race like this fella below.

Image 1Dozens of bands dotted the route and masses of cheering spectators packed the streets shouting words of encouragement.

Image 4It is definitely fun for me to witness such a positive extravaganza in my old stomping grounds in Virginia where thousands of runners, walkers and spectators converged on one of the prettiest boulevards in the south. And, most importantly, hearty congratulations to my bro and his daughter for completing the race!