Written by Brenda Sapanghila
While the Fredericksburg region may be better known for its fishing and hiking, racing is another popular way people get outside! As always, it’s best to check with a doctor before starting any sort of exercise routine. Once your doctor clears you, running and biking are fairly easy hobbies to start. You can find hundreds of running and biking specific apps, many online groups, and dozens of opinions on the best gear/ trails/ etc. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or are just starting out, participating in a local race is a great way to find motivation, meet new people, and simply have fun!
Arguably, Fredericksburg’s biggest race is Marine Corps The Historic Half Marathon ( Upcoming: May 19th, 2019). We suggest starting to train now if the half is your goal.
Here are a few great races to cut your teeth on in the meantime.
Stafford Race Series (3 races in the fall/winter):
Join in on Stafford’s FIRST race series! Sign up and run all 3 races to receive a commemorative race series medal, t-shirt, and gift on completion of final race.
Yankees in Falmouth 4 Mile Cannon Run & 1km Kids Fun Run - Sunday, September 9th
4 mile run in Stafford County overlooking the City of Fredericksburg. The race kicks off with a very exciting cannon fire start. Abraham Lincoln will even be a the finish line handing out medals! After race festivities to take place at the Yankees in Falmouth event.
Halloween 5 km & Monster Mile- Saturday, October 27th- Halloween Costumes optional, but strongly suggested. Prizes will be awarded to the runner with the best costumes (Youth, Adult and Team/Family)! Approximately 3.1 miles run through the Jeff Rouse Center (Stafford County) and the residential trails of Embrey Mill. Participants receive a t-shirt. Cash prizes are awarded to top contenders.
Frosty 5k- Saturday, December 15th- This festive run is approximately 3.1 miles through the Jeff Rouse Center and Embrey Mill. Post-run festivities include the annual Christmas in Stafford event, and the Stafford County Christmas Parade! Frosty 5k includes pictures with Santa, Christmas Village, food vendors, kids’ games, and more. Receive a medal and t-shirt upon completion.
Races For Runners:
Fall and a Winter Senior Walking Challenge.-August 19 - October 27, 2018. Embark on a 10 week walking challenge to promote and encourage a healthy and active lifestyle! Participants will be given a pedometer to wear during scheduled walks (group or individual). Join check-in seminars and take part in different challenges to gain bonus points! Prizes will be given for milestones and an overall 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place!
3rd annual Fredericksburg Fallen Heroes 5km Run- September 20- Show your support for our Veterans by bringing out your best red, white, and blue outfit, to the YMCA Massad! The Fredericksburg Fallen Heroes 501(c)(3) organizations supports and honors the memory of those who sacrificed for our freedom in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area.
Deuce Braswell 5km and Mile Run Against Teen Violence- September 22. The middle school with the highest number of participants may win up to $1000.00! Race day includes a 5K run/walk, a 1 mile fun run for kids (14 and under), raffle prizes, guest speakers to provide dialogue on issues pertaining to teen violence, food, music, moon bounces and more.“This event honors the memory of Baron “Deuce” P. Braswell II, a Courtland High School student who was murdered in a senseless act of teen violence. Let’s unite our families and our community to bring awareness to the issue of teen violence.”
Please bring a non-perishable food item/ toiletries to either the packet pick up or to the race, for a food drive to benefit the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank.
The Kids’ Galaxy Glow Run -October 6- This is a wonderful race for families! Galactic Dash (1/4 Mile): Ages 4 and Under (Start Time: 6:30 p.m.)
Meteor Mile (1 Mile): Ages 5 - 13 (Start Time: 6:45 p.m.) After everyone has crossed the finish line, enjoy a special viewing of STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI on a 20 ft. outdoor movie screen! Includes: T-Shirt, Finishers Medal, Race Bag, Glow Swag
10 km Run Through History- October 14- For this special one loop race, The National Park Service is allowing runners to run through the Spotsylvania Courthouse Battlefield. The trail follows the battlefield’s road, taking you around Bloody Angle, Mule Shoe, the Harrison and McCoull farms, Heth’s Salient and Burnside battle locations, and out of the park on Fredericksburg Road. Cannons and historical markers will be visable over the entire course.
Mary Washington Healthcare/Rappahannock Orthodontics YMCA Turkey Trot 5 km & Coker Family YMCA Turkey Trot Mile & Half-Mile- November 22-This race is a beloved Fredericksburg tradition! Start Thanksgiving off the right way by burning loads of calories before indulging in the feast. There is a half mile race for kids 6 and under, a one mile race for older children, and a 5k for adults.
Gran Fondo a bike race- October 21- The Gran Fondo bike race is a SIX city event for novice to expert bike riders. Participants compete in three distances: 30, 50 and 75 miles. There is a competitive element to the race, as the event is timed. However, the overall feel tends to be more laid back and recreational. Event starts and finishes at Old Mill Park, and will cover areas in Stafford, Fredericksburg, and Spotsylvania countries, including military parks.
The YMCA And Fredericksburg Orthopedics Associates Lakes and Grapes Century bike ride- September 15th- This scenic 100 and 80 mile ride will include the Stonewall Jackson shrine, as well as unbelievable views of Lake Anna, and the Lake Anna Winery. All rides will have rest stops with drink/food and SAG support. Post-ride BBQ and pasta provided to any century rider. 20 mile guided ride (9am) offered for new riders and families.