As you might have guessed, the Monument Avenue 10K is an out-and-back course that treks along Monument Avenue in downtown Richmond. From Confederate general Robert E. Lee to tennis star Arthur Ashe, this historic street is famed for its six larger than life statues that pay tribute to famous Virginians. The race is a journey through history as runners pass beautifully ornate homes built in the early 1900's and run beneath the towering monuments, but the Monument Avenue 10K is equally known for its lively party atmosphere.
The course, which is as flat as you could ever want, features dozens of bands that cover a wide variety of genres to keep participants motivated and running strong, and even with the light rain we had this year, the turn out of spectators and performers was exceptional. Additionally, there are four aid stations along the course, stocked with both water and Powerade, but you shouldn't be too surprised to see many of the sororities and fraternities offering more adult hydration options as they enthusiastically cheer on the runners.
Aside from the awesome vibe, the race is also incredibly accessible. The event organizers have really gone out of their way to make getting to the starting line as easy as possible. For those really committed, free street parking can be found near enough to the start, but it's much easier to choose either parking at one of the paid lots in the area or parking at The Diamond or City Stadium and paying for the extremely reasonably priced shuttle transportation. And if you'd prefer to completely forgo burning gas on race day, there are numerous hotels within walking distance of the start and a free valet service is offered to anyone who bikes to the race.
The Monument Avenue 10K is a unique event, and definitely one you should add to your list of most do races. The overwhelming energy of the spectators combined with a nearly perfectly flat course make this an ideal race for attempting a new PR, and afterwards there are a host of great things to do and restaurants to check out as you explore Richmond and all that it has to offer.