October 17 - November 01, 2020

2020 Chessie Trail VIRTUAL Marathon, Half Marathon, & 5K

October 17 - November 01, 2020 Organized by Friends Of The Chessie Trail

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Running-VIRTUAL Marathon - VIRTUAL Marathon
$15.00
Running-VIRTUAL Half Marathon - VIRTUAL Half Marathon
$15.00
Running-VIRTUAL 5K - VIRTUAL 5K
$15.00

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About this event

October 17, 2020 - November 01, 2020
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

2020 VIRTUAL Chessie Trail Marathon, Half Marathon, & 5K

October 17-November 1, 2020

VIRTUALLY Run The Chessie!

Due to ongoing uncertainty and safety concerns, all of our 2020 Chessie races are being transformed into VIRTUAL races.  This means that you can still sign up to run our classic Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K races in the fall, but you will run your race at a time and place of your own choosing, any time between October 17 and November 1.  If permitted, we will set up course markers on the Chessie Trail for the duration of the races.

Runners will receive custom printable bibs and finisher certificates, and self-reported times will be posted on our website.  Runners who report their times will be eligible for randomly drawn prizes and those who run the race in their Halloween costume and post a picture will be eligible for special prizes.

As always, 100% of proceeds from the races will go to the Friends Of The Chessie Trail for trail improvements.

 

Event details and schedule

2020 VIRTUAL Chessie Trail Marathon, Half Marathon, & 5K

October 17-November 1, 2020

Run North America’s best rail trail!  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, 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 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, 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.  

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. Ideal for the first-time marathoner!

Half Marathon runners will see nearly all of the trail as they head east towards Buena Vista, loop back to their starting point on the way to Lexington, and then loop back down to finish where they started. 

5 K runners can start at the Lexington end, running along remote sections of the Maury River through forests and fields, and at the base of towering limestone cliffs.  Or start at the Buena Vista end and run past a well preserved ancient lock and the remains of two old dams.  

Registration:  Registrations and payment will only be accepted online at Active.com..  We are sorry that we cannot make refunds or transfers for any reason.  

            VIRTUAL Full Marathon Registration:    $15

            VIRTUAL Half Marathon Registration:    $15 

            VIRTUAL 5K Registrations:                    $15

Amenities: 

            Full Marathon:  

  • Custom printable race bib.
  • Custom printable finisher certificate.
  • Self-reported results posted on website.
  • Finishers eligible for random prize drawings.

            Half Marathon:

  • Custom printable race bib.
  • Custom printable finisher certificate.
  • Self-reported results posted on website.
  • Finishers eligible for random prize drawings.

            5K:

  • Custom printable race bib.
  • Custom printable finisher certificate.
  • Self-reported results posted on website.
  • Finishers eligible for random prize drawings.

 

 

Course Description: 

 All three VIRTUAL races may be run on any course that you choose.

For those choosing to run their VIRTUAL race on the Chessie:

The trail follows a very gentle grade throughout (except for a short distance at the South River detour). 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: The You may start at any point on the Chessie Trail. The course 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:.  You may start at any point on the Chessie Trail. The course consists of an out and back loop east towards Buena Vista, and then an out and back loop west towards Lexington.  

There is one detour due to a washed-out bridge over the South River where the trail shifts over to Stuartsburg Road for 1/3 of a mile.  There are signs marking this detour, and all trail users are encouraged to run/walk facing traffic.

5K Course: 5K runners may start at the 1 mile marker near Lexington and run an out and back 5K without having to cross any bridges or go through any gates.  From the Buena Vista end  5K runners can start just after the first gate and do an out and back that will involve going through one gate. 

Course Rules:  Runners  choosing to run their VIRTUAL race on the Chessie must maintain a safe social distance as well as observing the regular Chessie Trail rules:

Chessie Nature Trail Rules:

  • No trespassing dusk to dawn.
  • Exercise caution and respect.
  • Bicycle speed limit 15 MPH.
  • Pets must remain leashed (6’ max.) at all times. 
  • Clean up after your pet.
  • Pack out all litter.
  • No trespassing on private property adjacent to the trail.
  • No unauthorized motor vehicles.
  • No weapons, fires, fireworks, or alcohol.
  • Groups of 15 or more require permit from VMI.

Trail Etiquette:

  • Be considerate.
  • Take only photos; leave only footprints.
  • Keep right; pass left.
  • Give audible warning before passing.
  • Yield to slower users.
  • Allow faster users to pass safely.
  • Do not block trail.
  • Close gates behind you.
  • Control your small children and pets.
  • Don't startle the cows.
  • Be aware that VMI cadets use the trail for training.

 

Parking:  There are designated parking spots at the “Pure Oil” parking area on the Lexington end of the trail, and at the Boat Launch on the Buena Vista end of the trail.  There are several other commonly used parking areas on the Lexington end and a few spots at South River.

Results:  Runners should self report their finish times through their Active.com registration and post photos on the race Facebook page.

Refunds & Transfers:  There will be no refunds or transfers for any reason.

Race-Day Info:  Average race day temperatures are perfect for endurance running with a low of 39° and high of 64°.  

Restrooms and Water:  There are no public restrooms or water sources on the Chessie, so plan to be able to take care of your own needs.

Contact:  runthechessie@gmail.com, Eric Sheffield – Race Director

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