RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – In Richmond, thousands of runners participated in the 41st Richmond marathon, half-marathon or 8K.
For some it is a chance to reconnect with friends, for others .. the race is an opportunity to raise money for the cause.
On the bright and early Saturday morning, thousands of shoes laced up and hit the sidewalk.
"It was great," said Kyle Yunaska, half-marathon. "You know, I came here and met a bunch of college buddies, we were on the trail and cross-country team in East Carolina."
For some runners, the half-marathon Richmond began as a noble goal.
"And I was just fine 12, 13 years later to come here," said Yunaska. "I've never run, I've never done anything close to a marathon, so I was not even sure if I could finish it, and it just was great, good people, good times."
Training months leading up to 13.1 miles
"My legs began to clench in the last few kilometers," said Yunaska. "I went to the hill there, at the end I saw the finish line. I was happy to see it."
For others, running in a full marathon is personal.
"The loss of our son Chris Groom in 2003 at Raleigh, North Carolina in a car accident," said Mike Groom, founder of the band Chris. "And the next year, my wife decided she wanted to take part in the marathon in his honor."
Team Chris has been represented in Richmond for the last 13 years.
"We created a fund of remembrance on his behalf," said Groom. "Every year, we collect money to look after the aggrieved and needy children."
Crossing the finish line, for a special purpose.
"It's humiliating," said Groom. "It's emotional, it's emotional, but it ends emotionally for Chris."
Boaz Kipyego from Kenya won the Richmond Hymn marathon in 2018.
8News Kristin Smith ran this year's half-marathon.