RICHMOND, Va. -- In the heart of the city, the sounds of cars were replaced with nearly 18,000 walkers and runners taking part in the 41st annual Anthem Richmond Marathon, Markel Richmond Half Marathon and VCU Health 8K.
“We ran the full marathon," Monica Hershey exclaimed. "It was awesome and it was amazing.”
On Saturday morning, the 8K started at 7 a.m. while the full marathon kicked off at 7:45 a.m. in the heart of downtown Richmond.
Some runners, who ran up to 26.2 miles, challenged themselves to run farther, faster and longer.
The course took them through the city's Fan and Museum District, around the James River, through Carytown and to the finish line near Browns Island.
This is the first marathon mother Suzie and daughter Monica Hershey have run together.
“One mile at a time. We encouraged each other. We said, 'We’re going to do it. We got this!'" Suzie Hershey explained. "Everyone on the course was so helpful.”
What helped them and so many others make it to the finish line… support from the community.
“It made us speed up and we’re like whoa, we need to hold back. It definitely does give you a boost of energy for sure.”
What makes the Anthem Richmond Marathon unique is that it serves as a qualifier for top races like the Boston Marathon, which has a reputation for being one of the world's most challenging races. The race is also dubbed “America’s Friendliest Marathon.”