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Sports Backers announce new ‘Firecracker 4-Miler’ virtual event in celebration of Independence Day

To celebrate the Fourth of July holiday in a fun and active way, Sports Backers has announced the new Firecracker 4-Miler, a virtual event that includes a variety of Independence Day-themed participant items and aims to make social distancing feel not quite as isolating.



To celebrate the Fourth of July holiday in a fun and active way, Sports Backers has announced the new Firecracker 4-Miler, a virtual event that includes a variety of Independence Day-themed participant items and aims to make social distancing feel not quite as isolating. Registration is now open at

To take part in the Firecracker 4-Miler, participants simply register, then run or walk four miles whenever they like (remembering to follow social distancing guidelines). Sports Backers will send the participant items to each registrant, and to guarantee delivery by Independence Day, participants must be registered by June 19. Each participant will receive the following items:

  • Official Firecracker 4-Miler tank top or t-shirt
  • Independence Day-themed finisher medal/bottle opener
  • Firecracker 4-Miler Koozie
  • Firecracker 4-Miler Race Bib
  • Printable Finisher Certificate
  • Virtual Event Badge

“We are always looking for fun and creative ways for people to stay active and this virtual event is a great way to do that,” said Meghan Keogh, Event Director for Sports Backers. “We know that people love to get creative with their Independence Day festivities and this provides a chance to celebrate in a unique and active way.”

The Firecracker 4-Miler is now the third virtual event Sports Backers has created in response to restrictions on large events and gatherings related to COVID-19, after the Taco Trot 5k in early May, which had over 1,700 registered participants, and the Great American 5000 virtual team run across America, which has already drawn more than 90 teams since launching on May 14.



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Virginia Capital Trail Foundation unveils Capital Trail Summer Challenge

You can conquer the 52-mile Virginia Capital Trail three different ways this summer.



The Virginia Capital Trail Foundation is encouraging people to get active this summer with the Capital Trail Summer Challenge. From now until September 6th, participants can run, bike, walk, skate, or dance their way along the Virginia Capital Trail, which stretches 51.7 miles from Williamsburg to Richmond.

The Summer Challenge consists of 3 different activity goals. Participants can crush all 51.7 miles of the Capital Trail, conquer 103.4 miles for an out and back, or complete the 310.2-mile Birthday Challenge in honor of the Trail’s 6th birthday. Each distance can be tackled all at once or completed in sections. The Summer Challenge is about conquering all 51.7 miles of the Capital Trail by passing every mile marker between Jamestown and Richmond. The remaining mileage can be logged anywhere, on the Capital Trail or somewhere new.

“We are hoping this event will inspire people to stay active this summer,” shares Cat Anthony, Executive Director of the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation. “We are excited to showcase all the different ways people can have fun out on the Trail. This challenge is unique because people choose their own activity and distance goal. There is something for everyone!”

After completing the challenge, participants will receive an official Summer Challenge t-shirt and sunglasses. Registration is $25 before the price bump on July 21st. There is also a fundraising option. Anyone who raises $100 will receive free registration. Proceeds from the challenge help support the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation.

Participants can submit their results any time before September 8th and are encouraged to share their experience on social media with #CapTrailChallenge. Additional information can be found at

The Virginia Capital Trail Foundation is a non-profit organization that exists to protect, promote, and enhance the Virginia Capital Trail, and to serve as a resource, community builder, and connector to other trails throughout the Commonwealth.



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Richmond Marathon Back to Normal this Year

Registration is open for all the running events as is signup for a Marathon Training Team.



Great news from the Richmond Marathon organizers.

The VCU Health Richmond Marathon will take place in its traditional one-day, in-person format in downtown Richmond on November 13, Sports Backers, the event organizers, announced today. The event also features the CarMax Richmond Half Marathon and Allianz Partners 8k. Registration is currently open for all three events at, with a price increase set for July 1.

2021 will mark the 44th running of the VCU Health Richmond Marathon. It is consistently recognized as a premier race experience, earning accolades such as ‘Top 15 Fall Race in the U.S.,’ ‘Top 20 Marathon in the U.S.,’ and a ‘Best Bet for a Boston Marathon Qualifier.’ The VCU Health Richmond Marathon and associated events also helped Richmond earn the distinction of being one of the ‘Top Racing Cities in the U.S.

“We are excited to return to our traditional format for the VCU Health Richmond Marathon and join together to celebrate all the aspects of race weekend that participants look forward to when running Richmond,” said Jon Lugbill, Executive Director of Sports Backers. “Events like this help make the Richmond region a vibrant place to live, work, and visit, and we can’t wait to welcome everyone back to downtown Richmond in November.”

If you need a little help to get across the finish line you can join a Marathon Training Team.

Sports Backers’ Marathon Training Team kicked off its 20th season on June 5 and the first in-person group training runs take place this Saturday, June 12, and Sunday, June 13, with groups meeting at Sports Backers Stadium.

The Sports Backers’ Marathon Training Team is a proven 23-week program that has successfully trained over 17,000 people for the VCU Health Richmond Marathon since the team’s inception in 2002. Roughly 30 percent of team participants will be training for their first marathon. The program is led by experienced coaches who are eager to provide motivation and guidance in a supportive setting to help participants achieve their goal of completing 26.2 miles.

The Marathon Training Team registration fee of $180 includes a free entry in the VCU Health Richmond Marathon, along with a Marathon Training Team shirt, a technical race shirt, an electronic guide book with a detailed schedule to follow, clinics, organized weekly runs with knowledgeable and supportive coaches, and special race-day support along the course from coaches. Income-based rates are available for all Sports Backers training teams. These rates are offered to those who qualify and would otherwise not be able to participate.

Marathon Training Team registration is open through June 28. For more information and registration details, please visit



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Photos and Game Summary: Kickers Strike Fast Hold on for Win

The Kickers scored in the opening minute but New England stayed in the fight and made for an exciting game down to the last seconds.



Three Things to Ponder

  1. Exciting – This game shouldn’t have been exciting. The Kickers kept leaving the door open a crack and the Revs would take advantage. The Kickers offense was also exciting but we don’t know yet if this is just a case of stacking up good against New England or the start of something bigger. The Kickers only other three-goal game was also against New England at the season opener.
  2. Passion – I’m going to mention it again. Everyone on this team has such passion that it’s impressive to watch. This starts with head Coach Darren Sawatsky. He’s just as passionate (angry?) when up two goals as he is when the team is down three goals. This passion can be a double-edged sword. The Kickers are second in the league with yellow cards but to date no red cards.
  3. Deep Offense – The Kickers are second in the league with 10 goals. This comes from six different players. Leading the Kickers as you’d expect/hope is Emiliano Terzaghi with three. The fact that five other players have scored makes it much harder for other teams to focus on just one player and hope that stifles the offense.


Official Kicker Game Summary

The Richmond Kickers (3-3-1) equaled their highest scoring total of the season as they earned a 3-2 win over New England Revolution II on Pride Night. The tone of the match was set when the Kickers opened up with a spectacular team goal in the first 26 seconds.

Approximately 30 seconds into the match, a quick exchange of passes between Juan Pablo Monticelli and Nil Vinyals broke through the New England right-flank. Vinyals placed a threaded pass to Jonathan Bolanos who exploded into the box then squared the ball across to Matt Bolduc who set up for a left-footed shot and netted an early goal for Richmond.

After 11 minutes, Revs II made their way into the Richmond defense and managed to get a shot off, but Akira Fitzgerald’s lightning quick reflexes rejected what could have been an equalizer for New England.

At the 30-minute mark, New England equalized after an incisive run into the box which was followed with a shot that Fitzgerald deflected away from goal but fell into the feet of Noel Buck who struck the ball just quick enough to beat Fitzgerald to the punch.

Only 10 minutes later, Vinyals would place a corner kick that would connect with Monticelli for a beautifully-headed goal into the back of the New England net. The first half wrapped up with Richmond holding a 2-1 lead over Revs II.

With the second half underway, Richmond looked to see out their lead with some insurance. In the 51st minute, Victor Falck drilled a deadball down the right wing to a streaking Bolduc. The right-winger squared the ball into the center of the box to Vinyals who was rushing into the danger area. The Spaniard passed the ball to a centrally-placed Terzaghi, who returned the ball to Vinyals just wide of the goal, only for Vinyals to fizz the ball right back across to Terzaghi who finished with a perfect side-footed attempt.

In the 76th minute, New England halved the Richmond lead but the Reds held onto their lead through six minutes of stoppage time to see out their second straight victory over Revs II.

With another win under their belt, the Richmond Kickers are back on the road and headed to Wisconsin on Saturday, June 12 to face Forward Madison for the first Henny Derby of the season. The game is set to kick off at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Stay up to date with the latest news from the Kickers at and on the official team app.

Team First Half Second Half Final
Richmond 2 1 3
North Carolina 1 1 2


Richmond: Akira Fitzgerald, Juan Pablo Monticelli, Ivan Magalhaes, Jalen Crisler (68’ – Nathan Aune), Esteban Calvo, Zaca Moran, Victor Falck, Nil Vinyals, Emiliano Terzaghi ( 88’ – Cameron Vickers), Jonathan Bolanos ( 63’ – Oalex Anderson), Matt Bolduc ( 63’ – Luke Pavone).

Unused Substitutes: Austin Causey, Chris Cole, Hernan Gonzalez

New England: Brad Knighton, Sean O’Hearn, Colby Quinones (69’ – Francois Dulysse), Pierre Cayet, Jake Rozhansky, Michel, Ryan Spaulding ( 68’ – Hikaru Fujiwara), Christian Mafla, Noel Buck ( 45’ – Justin Rennicks), Damian Rivera, Edward Kizza ( 68’ – Ryan Sierakowski).

Unused Substitutes: Joseph Rice, Joseph Buck, Collin Verfurth


Team Shots Saves Fouls Corners
Richmond 13 2 18 2
New England 14 4 8 7




























Referee: JC Griggs
4th Official: Andrew Charron
Attendance: 2,360
Weather: Sunny, 89 ºF



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