It's that time of year again: Registration for the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K is now open, and University of Richmond students have begun signing up in droves.
The Monument 10k, which will be taking place this year on April 5, is the United States' fourth-largest 10k. Every year, nearly 30,000 people participate, including Richmond students. Senior Charlotte Farewell ran the 10k during her sophomore year with two friends, and she said she had an amazing time.
"I haven't run competitively since cross country in high school, so I realized I missed the thrill of a race," Farewell said. "The 10k seemed a good one to start with because it is not a huge distance, and so many people participate with you."
While Farewell ran with two friends, junior Amy Saucier registered to run the 10k this year with a group of her Alpha Chi Omega sisters. The group has begun training by increasing the number of miles they run each week. This will be Saucier's first 10k.
"My goal is to run the 10k in under an hour," Saucier said. "I am hoping that with such a great atmosphere and a large group of people, I will be able to reach my goal."
The race, which will begin at 8:30 a.m., features something for everyone. While runners and walkers race down Monument Avenue and back, spectators cheer on their families and friends from the sidelines while listening to live bands.
"It is easy to get involved because so many people participate in the Richmond area," Farewell said.
The Richmond YMCA offers a 10k training team from Jan. 26 until April 5. The program includes guidance from experienced coaches and organized weekly walks and runs on Saturday mornings.
Farewell's training regime was less structured. Already running five times a week, Farewell didn't see the need to train for the 10k, although she tried to incorporate longer runs into her daily workouts.
"Creating time to train is just a matter of beginning to work out on a regular basis and setting a schedule for yourself that gets more intense as the race gets nearer," Farewell said. The Weinstein Center for Recreation and Wellness has put together a training program with Endorphin Fitness, a local fitness center, to help put together just such a schedule.
A trainer from Endorphin Fitness comes to campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays to help students, faculty, staff and community members train for the 10k, said Anne Knowlson, administrative assistant for Fitness and Wellness at the Recreation and Wellness Center. For a fee of $20 for students and $40 for other community members, trainers provide pace training on Tuesdays and cross country running on Thursdays at the intramural fields. Included in the price is a running plan used to help build resistance. The running plan allows people to train independently if they are not able to come to a session.
But if it isn't the intensive training that makes a Richmond student reconsider running in the Monument 10k, it could be that this year's 10k takes place on the same day as Richmond's annual Festivus. But Saucier and her group are not letting that stop them.
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"The 10k is in the morning of Pig Roast, and I think that there will be plenty of time later in the day to hang out," Saucier said. "Besides I will probably be very excited after the fact."
Registration for the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10k is available online. In addition, registration for the 10k training program through Endorphin Fitness is available at the Weinstein Center.
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