Richmond race could be record-breaking since NYC marathon canceled

RICHMOND, VA. (WTVR) — After the New York City Marathon was canceled Friday due to the devastation superstorm Sandy inflicted on the city, hundreds of runners from across the country rushed to sign up for the next big marathon on the East Coast: the Anthem Richmond Marathon. 

It’s scheduled for November 10. The impact of hundreds of new runners won’t just affect the race; organizers anticipate an economic bump because of the influx of marathoners.

The Richmond Sports Backers, who puts on the Anthem Richmond Marathon, has been tracking the number of people who have registered for the Richmond Marathon since New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg cancelled Friday evening. 

On a typical Friday night, after 5 p.m., the Sports Backers would get three or four more new entries for the race.  Last Friday, they received more than 300 entries.  

It’s one of the largest single day registration spikes in the 35 year history of the Richmond Marathon, according the Sports Backers.

The Sports Backers originally thought 5,400 people would run this year, they are now projecting as many as 6,500.

This influx of runners into Richmond will not just impact the race.

“Marathoners are known for traveling, they’re known for spending a lot of money,” says Scott Schricker with the Sports Backers.  “So there’s a huge economic impact for the Richmond region and that’s only been increased by the cancellation in New York.”

Organizers have had to rethink certain logistics to accommodate the increase in runners, but they are confident that they will be prepared by the time runners hit the streets in Richmond.

Instead of stretching at Pocahontas Park on Sunday, Debra Fulk from Chesterfield was hoping she would be running at the New York City Marathon.

“It wasn’t until 4:45 [on Friday] when I got into Manhattan. We were sitting in this long line, and I had my radio on. And I heard on the news that the marathon had been cancelled,” says Fulk.

She did not want her months of training go by the wayside, so Fulk took the route of hundreds of other runners shut out of the NYC Marathon.

She is running in the Richmond Marathon next Saturday.

“Looking forward to it and I know I’m going to have a lot of fun,” says Fulk.

The Sports Backers say there are still spots open to run in the Anthem Richmond Marathon, but if they continue to see the registration spike of the past few days, those spots won’t be open much longer.

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