Continuing a post-pandemic rebound, Charlottesville’s oldest and most popular footrace could see more than 2,000 people filling the streets Saturday morning for the 48th running of the Charlottesville 10-Miler, according to race director Karen Murray, who said that last year saw about 1,500 entrants.
“I just hope it all goes off without a hitch,” Murray told The Daily Progress as she noted that this year, her first as race director, features a new course.
Instead of starting and finishing outside the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena, this year’s race is headquartered at another UVa sports facility, Scott Stadium. Also new is that the medal that will be presented to everyone who completes the course will bear a reminder of the three UVa football players slain after a field trip last fall.
Discreetly placed into an image of the Paramount Theater marquee, in what otherwise seems like a festive mix of local landmarks, are the jersey numbers of the late Lavel Davis Jr. (No. 1), Devin Chandler (No. 15), and D’Sean Perry (No. 41).
“We stand in solidarity with UVa and we are all #VirginiaStrong together,” the 10-Miler wrote in a Facebook post when unveiling the medal in January.
As happens every year, this race takes runners through some of the most scenic places in this hilly city, and police will limit automotive lanes on some roads and enforce full closures on stretches of Alderman Road, from race start time of 7:15 a.m. to 7:55 a.m., and University Avenue from 7:55 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The complete list of “cues” for seeing racers can be found at cvilletenmiler.com.
“My biggest wish is that we could line the streets of Charlottesville like they do in New York City Marathon,” said Murray.
A charity event, this year’s race will reward many nonprofit groups, particularly the Arc of the Piedmont and the Brooks Family YMCA. Registration, which costs $85, will continue until 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Last year’s race was won by Alex Corbett with a time of 50 minutes and 53.77 seconds. A “Double Hoo” who earned two UVa degrees, including a master’s that he finished in 2021, Corbett was a Division I varsity distance runner for UVa’s cross Country-track and field team. Thomas Adam finished just three seconds behind Corbett last year.
Last year’s winner of the women’s division was Ann Mazur with a time of one hour and 58.54 seconds. The former Notre Dame University runner, who now owns a workout channel and clothing line, crossed the finish line four minutes ahead of the closest female finisher.
But the race director said the 10-Miler, which is sponsored by the Charlottesville Track Club, didn’t get to be the largest local footrace by focusing on winners and records.
“It’s a family race,” said Murray. “There’s a lot of family tradition in this race.”
One tradition is the presence of Mark Lorenzoni. A former race director and the owner of Ragged Mountain Running Shop, Lorenzoni said that he’s happy just to be a race volunteer now — someone who will be outside at 4 a.m. on race day to help set the course. He agreed with Murray that family, friends and runners of all speeds make the race special.
“We have the whole gamut out there,” said Lorenzoni. “That’s the beauty of it.”