2024 Chessie Trail Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, & 26.2 Relay

Tue October 1 - Sat October 26, 2024 Lexington, VA 24450 US Directions

Events

Marathon

$58 10/26 8:00AM EDT - 3:00PM EDT
93 spots left. Price increases after May 31, 2024 at 11:59pm EDT

Half Marathon

$48 10/26 8:00AM EDT - 3:00PM EDT
205 spots left. Price increases after May 31, 2024 at 11:59pm EDT

10K

$30 10/26 8:15AM EDT - 3:00PM EDT
130 spots left. Price increases after May 31, 2024 at 11:59pm EDT

5K

$28 10/26 8:25AM EDT - 3:00PM EDT
121 spots left. Price increases after May 31, 2024 at 11:59pm EDT

Marathon Relay

$104 10/26 8:00AM EDT - 3:00PM EDT
97 spots left. Price increases after May 31, 2024 at 11:59pm EDT

VIRTUAL Marathon

$58 Registration ends October 25, 2024 at 7:00pm EDT

VIRTUAL Half Marathon

$48 Registration ends October 25, 2024 at 7:00pm EDT

VIRTUAL 10K

$30 Registration ends October 25, 2024 at 7:00pm EDT

Race Website

Additional race information can be found at http://runthechessie.org.

Place

Chessie Trail-McKethan Park
Lexington, VA US 24450

Description

2024 Chessie Trail Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, 5K & 26.2 Relay
October 26, 2024 
www.runthechessie.org
 
We are proud to announce that the Chessie Trail 10K has been selected for inclusion in the 2024 USATF Virginia Fall Distance Running Grand Prix!  USATF members will be eligible for additional medals and scoring points towards the Grand Prix’s $3500 prize purse.
 
Run The Chessie!
 
Run America’s most spectacular rail trail!  The Chessie Nature Trail was voted one of the top three recreational trails in the nation in 2023. The seven-mile Chessie Trail, situated at the southern end of the Shenandoah Valley, parallels the scenic Maury River and connects historic Lexington, Virginia, with the boom-town community of Buena Vista.  The smooth, flat, and fast, gravel and grass trail runs along the former Chesapeake and Ohio rail line and parts of the earlier James and Kanawha Canal towpath.
 
You’ll run 26.2 miles without ever having to cross a road, jump a curb, or pound your knees on concrete and asphalt.  You’ll glide through an ever-changing landscape along the wild Maury River, through farmland and leafy canopies at their peak of fall color, past ruins of massive stone locks and dams.  View wildlife from fish and ducks to rabbits, deer, wild turkeys, river otters, and even bald eagles (if you are lucky), feel the cool moist air as you pass small caves, and enjoy the serenity of a breeze rustling through a bamboo forest.  A corps of the most dedicated and friendly volunteers you’ll ever meet has been working for 12 months to provide you with an unforgettable running experience and will cheer you on and provide support throughout the race.
 
This event is sanctioned by USATF and all four race courses are USATF certified. The Marathon is a Boston Qualifier.
 
Marathon runners will get to see the whole trail twice.  You will be amazed at how the landscape changes as the sun comes over the cliffs transforming the narrow valley and the sparkling river at its bottom.  Spectators will agree that this is the best marathon course ever as they cheer on their loved ones five times without ever having to leave the park-like setting of the start/finish area.  And while we certainly hope this doesn’t happen, if you have to change your marathon run to a half marathon or ¾ marathon, you won’t have to worry about hitchhiking back to your car.  Ideal for the first-time marathoner!  USATF Certification VA22005DJR .
 
Half Marathon runners will see nearly all of the trail as they head east towards Buena Vista, loop back to the starting line on the way to Lexington, and then loop back down to the finish line.  USATF Certification VA22004DJR .
 
10K runners will head towards Buena Vista first, turning back just after South River, then continue past the starting line towards Lexington, turning once more and running the final 2.5K downhill to the start/finish line.  USATF Certification VA22003DJR .  Runners wishing to participate in the USATF Virginia Fall Grand Prix must be USATF members and enter their membership number on the registration form by Thursday, October 24 (11:59 pm).
 
5K runners will head towards Lexington, running along remote sections of the Maury River through forests and fields, and at the base of towering limestone cliffs.  When the river bends into a double horseshoe, they will loop back for a slightly downhill finish.  USATF Certification VA22002DJR .
 
26.2 Relay runners will follow the same course as the Marathon.  There will be four legs to the relay of approximately 8.5m, 4.6m, 8.5m, and 4.6m.  Runners may run more than one leg for their team.  Each team will be issued a standard aluminum relay baton, which they will be required to carry on their bodies for the entire race.  All exchanges will take place at the start/finish area.  Teams are encouraged to decorate their baton with their team colors, logo, etc.  The winning team in each division will be awarded a trophy.  Winners will be determined by first across the finish line (not chip time).  There will be three divisions, all female, all male, and mixed gender.  Relay team captains will be required to pay the registration fee for the team and set up a team name and password so that other team members may enter their information on the registration website.
 
Walkers are welcome in the 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon.
 
Full Marathon registration includes a custom embroidered finisher’s hat, long sleeve, unisex, tech t-shirt, race sticker, custom medals for all finishers, awards to top overall finishers and age group winners, and post-race pizza, snacks, and beverage.
 
Half Marathon registration includes a long sleeve, unisex, tech t-shirt, race sticker, custom medals for all finishers, awards to top overall finishers and age group winners, and post-race pizza, snacks, and beverage.
 
10K & 5K runners will receive a short sleeve, unisex, tech t-shirt, race sticker, custom medals for all finishers, awards to top overall finishers and age group winners, and snacks and beverage following the race.
 
Marathon Relay registration includes, long sleeve, unisex, tech t-shirt, race sticker, custom medals for all team members, trophies for the winners of each division, and post-race pizza, snacks, and beverage.
 
There is plenty of free parking near the start and plenty of other activities to make a weekend of it in the most beautiful part of Virginia!  Registration for each race is limited, so register now to ensure your spot.
 
Virtual Option:  There will be a Virtual Option for the Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K and 5K races.  Runners may run their Virtual Race on a course of their choosing, any time from October 1 to October 26, and may self-report their times.  Amenities for the virtual races will include t-shirt, medal, race sticker, finisher certificate and posted results.  Amenities will be mailed to the participant.  Virtual runners will not be eligible for awards.
 
Registration:  Registrations and payment will only be accepted online at https://runsignup.com/Race/VA/Lexington/RunTheChessie. Students will be required to show proof of current enrollment at packet pick up.  Registration will be cut off on October 25, 7 p.m. ET and there will be no race day registration.  We cannot guarantee t-shirt availability for late registrants.  Registrants may transfer to a different race, or defer, up to October 18, 2023.  Transfers may require a small fee from runsignup.com plus any difference for transferring to a more expensive race.  We are sorry that we cannot make refunds for any reason.  Runners may defer their registration to a future race, up to October 18.  After October 18 we cannot make any deferrals.  Marathon Relay team captains will be required to pay the entire registration fee for the team (up to 4 members) and set up a team name and password so that other team members may enter their information on the registration website.
 
In the event that races must be cancelled due to hazardous conditions, or for any other reason, all registrants will be transferred to the VIRTUAL races.
 
 
            Full Marathon Registration:          
                        Student (student ID required)                         $38
                        Super Early Discount 12/1/23 – 5/31/24        $58
                        Early                           6/1/24 – 7/31/24          $63
                        On-Time                     8/1/24 – 9/30/24          $68
                        Late                             10/1/24 – 10/25/24      $83     
                        Virtual Option            12/1/23 – 10/25/24      $58
 
            Half Marathon Registration:
                        Student (student ID required)                         $28
                        Super Early Discount 12/1/23 – 5/31/24        $48
                        Early Discount            6/1/24 – 7/31/24          $53
                        On-Time                     8/1/24 – 9/30/24          $58
                        Late                             10/1/24 – 10/25/24      $68
                        Virtual Option            12/1/23 – 10/25/24      $48
 
            10K Registrations:
                        Student (student ID required)                         $25
                        Super Early Discount 12/1/23 – 5/31/24        $30
                        Early Discount            6/1/24 – 7/31/24          $33
                        On-Time                     8/1/24 – 9/30/24          $35
                        Late                             10/1/24 – 10/25/24      $40
                        Virtual Option            12/1/23 – 10/25/24      $30
 
            5K Registrations:
                        Student (student ID required)                         $23
                        Super Early Discount 12/1/23 – 5/31/24        $28
                        Early Discount            6/1/24 – 7/31/24          $31
                        On-Time                     8/1/24 – 9/30/24          $33
                        Late                             10/1/24 – 10/25/24      $38
                        Virtual Option            12/1/23 – 10/25/24      $28
 
            Marathon Relay Registration:       
                       
                        Student (Valid Student ID required-all members)     $104
                        Super Earl Discount    12/1/23 – 5/31/24                    $104
                        Early Discount            6/1/24 – 7/31/24                      $124
                        On-Time                     8/1/24 – 9/30/24                      $144
                        Late                             10/1/24 – 10/25/24                  $164
Amenities: 
            Full Marathon: 
·      Custom long-sleeve, unisex, tech race t-shirt.
·      Free parking near start/finish line.
·      Chip timing.
·      Custom medals for all finishers.
·      Custom embroidered race hat for all finishers.
·      Free race sticker.
·      Drop bag table at start for personal belongings.
·      Aid/drink stations throughout the course.
·      Awards to top 3 overall finishers (each gender class) and first place of 12 age groups.
·      Post race party with pizza, snacks, and beverage.
·      Results posted online.
           
            Half Marathon:
·      Custom long-sleeve tech, unisex, race t-shirt.
·      Free parking near start/finish line.
·      Chip timing.
·      Custom medals for all finishers.
·      Free race sticker.
·      Drop bag table at start for personal belongings.
·      Aid/drink stations throughout the course.
·      Awards to top 3 overall finishers (each gender class) and first place of 12 age groups.
·      Post race party with pizza, snacks, and beverage.
·      Results posted online.
 
 
            10K & 5K:
·      Custom tech, unisex, race t-shirt.
·      Free race sticker.
·      Free parking near start/finish line.
·      Chip timing.
·      Custom medals for all finishers.
·      Drop bag table at start for personal belongings.
·      Aid/drink stations throughout the course.
·      Awards to top 3 overall finishers (each gender class) and first place of 12 age groups.
·      Post race party with snacks, and beverage.
·      Results posted online.
 
Marathon Relay: 
·      Custom long-sleeve, unisex, tech race t-shirt.
·      Free parking near start/finish line.
·      Chip timing.
·      Custom medals for all finishers.
·      Free race sticker.
·      Drop bag table at start for personal belongings.
·      Aid/drink stations throughout the course.
·      Trophies to top teams in 3 divisions.
·      Post race party with pizza, snacks, and beverage.
·      Results posted online.
 
Awards & Age Groups:  Custom medals will be given to all finishers of the Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, 5K and all 26.2 Relay team members.  Awards will be presented as soon as results are available.  The top three male, female, and non-binary finishers of the Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K and 5K will receive gift certificates.  Marathon Relay winning teams in each division will receive a trophy.  Individuals who set a course record will receive a $50 cash prize.  Age-group first place in the Marathon, Half Marathon,10K and 5K will receive awards. Age-groups male, female, and non-binary: 12 and under, 13-18, 19-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80 and over.  We strongly recommend that you stay to claim your award.  However, if you are not able to stay, we can mail it to you.  There is a $25 packing and postage charge and you may pay at www.runthechessie.org 
 
Packet Pick-Up:  Registrants may pick up their packets, Friday, October 25, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. at Walkabout Outfitters, 21 S. Main St., Lexington, VA 24450, except registrants who sign up the Friday just before the race.  Those registrants will have to pick up their packets at the race, Saturday.  You may pick up someone else’s packet, with their permission, a copy of their ID, and a signed waiver. Packets may also be picked up prior to the race near the starting line, Saturday, November 4, 6:30-7:00 a.m.  Participants will be required to show ID and sign a waiver to receive their packet and students must have current student ID.
 
Course Description & Map:  The trail follows a very gentle grade throughout. The surface is smooth gravel and grass, usually about 10 feet wide.  Overhanging trees may drop branches and nuts, adjoining cliffs may drop rocks, there are still a couple of sections where livestock may be dropping things, there are a couple of small springs which may be seeping, and very rarely there may be a small root in the trail.  So you will want to keep your eyes on the trail at all times, and watch where you step for many reasons.
 
Full Marathon Course:  Start time 8 a.m.  The course starts and ends at the midpoint of the Chessie Trail. It consists of an out and back loop east towards Buena Vista, and then an out and back loop west towards Lexington.  The full route will be completed twice.
 
Half Marathon Course:  Start time 8 a.m.  The course starts and ends at the midpoint of the Chessie Trail. It consists of an out and back loop east towards Buena Vista, and then an out and back loop west towards Lexington. 
 
The race will start and finish on the Chessie Trail at the McKethan Park/I-81 overpass. From McKethan Park the course will go approximately 4 1/4 miles towards Buena Vista.  At the boat launch near Buena Vista, the course will turn around and retrace the trail 6 3/4 miles towards Lexington. It will pass the starting line and continue until reaching the Lexington trailhead and then looping back about 2 1/2 miles back to the finish line at McKethan Park.
 
10K Course:  Start time 8:15 a.m.  Race will start and finish on the Trail at McKethan Park/I-81 overpass.  From McKethan Park the course will go towards Buena Vista, 2.5 K, then turn around just after the South River bridge and proceed back to the starting line at McKethan Park, and continue 2.5K towards Lexington before turning back to finish at McKethan Park.
 
5K Course:  Start time 8:25 a.m.  Race will start and finish on the Trail at McKethan Park/I-81 overpass.  From McKethan Park the course will go towards Lexington, 2.5 K, then turn around near the middle of the two horseshoe bends, and proceed back to the finish line at McKethan Park.
 
26.2 Relay Course:  Start time 8 a.m.  Same course as the Full Marathon.  All exchanges will take place at the start/finish line.
 
Aid/drink stations will be set up at the start/finish, all turn-around points, and near the South River bridge.  Porta-potties will be set up at the start/finish, Old Sheppard Road, Buena Vista turnaround and the Lexington turnaround.
 
Course Rules:  No strollers. No animals allowed in race, except service animals. Ear buds are permitted, but are discouraged for safety reasons.  Stay to the right when encountering oncoming runners.  Walkers are welcome in the 5K, 10K and Half Marathon races.
 
Spectators:  Spectators may park at McKethan Park for free, and walk a short distance down to the trail and the start/finish line.  There are very few access points to the trail and none with good parking.  So the best choice for spectators is to remain at the start/finish line.  The full and half marathon runners will come back by the start line about 8 1/2 miles into the race.  10K runners will also come by the start/finish area half way through their race.  The start/finish area is beneath an I-81 overpass, so spectators may stay out of the sun/rain, if they so choose.  There is a small amount of bleacher seating at the start/finish area, but you may want to bring your own chair.
 
Results:  Results will be posted at runroanoke.com and runthechessie.org
 
Refunds & Transfers: Registrants may transfer to a different race, or defer, up to October 18, 2023.  Transfers may require a small fee from runsignup.com plus any difference for transferring to a more expensive race.  We are sorry that we cannot make refunds for any reason. 
 
Volunteer:  Sign up to volunteer for race support!  Volunteers will be expected to be available from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. or from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For their efforts, volunteers will receive a custom “Race Crew” t-shirt, and join in the post race pizza party.  Contact Eric Sheffield at runthechessie@gmail.com for more information or to sign up.
 
Area Lodging: There are many hotels and B&Bs in the Lexington, Rockbridge, Buena Vista area.  Usually there is plenty of capacity, but depending on events at the area colleges and the Virginia Horse Center, they can fill up.  So don’t delay in making your reservations.
https://lexingtonvirginia.com/directory/lodging
 
 
Race-Day Info:  Average race day temperatures are perfect for endurance running with a low of 38° and high of 62°. 
 
If you are using GPS or a mapping service, enter 79 McKethan Park, Lexington, VA.
 
Parking at McKethan Park will open at 6:30 a.m.  Look for signs from Old Buena Vista Road.  Packet pick up will be available from 6:30 – 7:00 at the second pavilion across from the baseball field. If you do not pick up your packet on Friday at Walkabout Outfitters, you will need to do so before heading down to the race start/finish. After this, then you can proceed down to the parking area and head down to the start/finish.  There are bathroom facilities at the pavilion 2/packet pickup area, and more at the starting line.  If you do collect your packet on Friday, there is no need to stop at the pavilion.  A bag drop area for personal belongings will also be set up near the starting line and you must have your bib number to drop and pick up your bag.  Do not leave valuable items in your bag.  Porta-potties will also be available near the starting line.  Snacks and beverages for the runners will be set up near the start/finish line. 
 
The Full Marathon, Half Marathon, and Marathon Relay will start at 8:00 a.m.  The 10K will start at 8:15 a.m., and the 5K will start at 8:25 a.m.  Awards will be presented as results become available.  All race support functions will cease operation at 3 p.m.  The large gates at the boundaries of cattle fields will be open during the race until 1p.m., after that runners/walkers will need to use the push-through pedestrian gates.
 
For best results your bib number should be worn on your front, at chest height.
 
Please do not try to access McKethan Park except on race day.  The park is the property of VMI and is not open to the public without a permit.  The gate may be locked at any time and you will be sorry if your car is inside.
 
Race & Awards Schedule:
 
Friday:            10am-6pm       Packet Pickup.
Saturday:         6:30am            Parking Opens.
                        6:30-7:30am    Packet Pickup.
                        8:00am            Start of 26.2, 13.1, & 26.2 Relay.
                        8:15am            Start of 10K.
                        8:25am            Start of 5K.
                        9:00am            5K Overall & Age-Group Winners Awards.
                        9:15am            10K Overall Winners Awards.
                        9:30am            10K Age-Group Winners Awards.
                        9:50am            13.1 Overall Winners Awards.
                        10:05am          13.1 Age-Group Winners Awards.
                        11:30am          26.2 Male Overall Winners Awards.
                       12:10pm          26.2 Female, Non-binary, & Relay Overall Winners Awards.   26.2 Male Age-Group Winners Awards.
                       12:30pm          26.2 Female & Non-binary Age-Group Winners Awards.
                        3:00pm            All Race Support ceases.
                        5:00pm            McKethan Park gate locked.
 
 
 
Drop Bags:  A drop bag area will be set up near the starting line.  Runners must have their bib number present when checking bags in and out.  Do not put valuables such as money or electronics in your drop bag.  We will make every effort to see that your belongings are safely returned to you, but cannot take responsibility for the loss or damage of any valuables.

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