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Photos: Big Booms

The return of the 4th of July Fireworks at Dogwood Dell did not disappoint.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

Arts & Entertainment

Catch the Holiday Spirit at Maymont with Christmas tours, wreath workshops and a Merry Market

Check out the historic mansion decked out for the holidays, get your shopping done, and enjoy a merry good time at Maymont this holiday season.

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There’s no place like Maymont for the holidays, and something for everyone at the estate this time of year. First, starting November 18 through January 1, 2023, a special Christmas-themed audio tour will be offered at Maymont Mansion, which will be decorated for the season in Victorian style. The self-guided tour provides insights into the high pomp — and hard work — of holiday entertaining during the Gilded Age.

Second, the public is invited to create their own fresh evergreen wreaths in one of seven hands-on Wreath Workshops, Tuesday, November 29 – Saturday, December 3, under the expert guidance of Maymont staff. And a new event, Merry Market, Friday, December 2 & Saturday, December 3, celebrates winter with a two-day, pop-up holiday market of 50 local artisans, plus cozy fire pits, a festive holiday bar, live music, crafts for kids and a chance to take a selfie with Saint Nicholas.

The highlight of Merry Market is shopping for locally crafted, and imported handmade gifts in an outdoor marketplace surrounded by historic buildings draped in fresh evergreen garlands and twinkling lights on the Carriage House Lawn. Shoppers can stay fueled up with something tasty from the festive holiday bar and food vendors, and warm up around fire pits and outdoor heaters, while an a cappella vocal group and a jazz combo set the mood. Kids can make their own handmade gifts and decorations and snap a photo with Saint Nicholas.

Artisans will be selling a variety of hand-crafted accessories, décor, and housewares that make thoughtful gifts for the holidays. Among the offerings are stained glass artworks by KiYay Studios, pottery by Tana Makes, art prints by Laura Marr/FlourishRVA, fair-trade décor and accessories selected and imported by one little world, handmade jewelry by Bee is for Bead, gifts for nature lovers by Rabbit & Wren, handmade fabric products from India imported by Asha project, art by Abuelita’s, custom polymer jewelry by SassyHappy, woodworking by Southside Sawdust, plus, hand embroidery, candles, soaps, knitwear, pet treats and accessories, and much more!

“Merry Market is a chance for the community to celebrate the season with friends and neighbors in the unique historic setting at Maymont,” said Parke Richeson, Executive Director. “With live music, holiday lights, cozy fire pits, and crafts for kids, everyone will enjoy relaxing on the Carriage House Lawn along with a little holiday shopping with local small businesses and craftspeople.”

Saint Nicholas will be available for photos with the family, and children can also make their own gifts and holiday decorations at the crafts tent. A selection of food, desserts, hot coffee, cocoa, and other beverages will be available for separate purchase from food vendors, including Goatocado, The Cocky Rooster, Monique’s Crepes, Timber Pizza, and Pops Kettle Corn. The festive holiday bar will serve red wine and holiday craft beers to guests ages 21 and over.

Merry Market tickets may be purchased in advance or at the gate for $10 per person; $5 for children ages 3 – 12; and free for children ages 2 and under. Maymont members enjoy free admission. Guests who present an EBT card receive discounted tickets for $3 (on-site only) through the Museums for All program. All proceeds benefit Maymont.

Please note: Maymont will close at 4 pm on Friday, December 2, and 1 pm on Saturday, December 3, to prepare for Merry Market. Guests will enter Merry Market through the Historic Estate entrance at 1700 Hampton Street. Event parking is available at the Historic Estate parking lot and The Robins Nature Center, in addition to street parking. The Maymont Farm entrance is closed for the event. Merry Market takes place entirely outdoors, rain or shine, except in the case of severe weather. Guests are advised to wear weather-appropriate clothing and footwear suited for an outdoor lawn.

The Wreath Workshops tend to fill up in advance and include wreath supplies and refreshments, but guests are advised to bring their own snippers and gardening gloves. On Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2-3, Wreath Workshop admission ($55 per person, $41 for members) includes admission to Merry Market. Times vary; visit the events calendar for details.

Holiday Audio Tours are $8 per person, $6 for children ages 3 – 12, and free for Maymont Members and Museums for All participants.

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Downtown

Samuel Doud wins Allianz Partners Richmond Marathon; Sarahbeth Chargois claims women’s title

The 45th running of the marathon included CarMax Richmond Half Marathon, VCU Health Richmond 8k.

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Samuel Doud of Washington, D.C., took first place in the 2022 Allianz Partners Richmond Marathon, finishing ahead of Harrison Toney of Richmond, and John Crews of Cary, N.C. Doud finished in a time of 2:24:27, while Toney came in at 2:25:44, followed by Crews in 2:30:33.

Sarahbeth Chargois was the first female to cross the finish line, followed by Bridget Stacy and Zanny Arey. Chargois, of Richmond, Va., finished in a time of 2:51:02, followed by Stacy, of Henrico, Va., in 2:55:48, and Arey, of Bridgewater, Va., in 2:57:15.

In the CarMax Richmond Half Marathon, Pol Domenech, of Wingate, N.C., took the men’s title in a time of 1:07:50, followed by Jonathan Martin of China Grove, N.C., in a time of 1:08:31, and Felix Nadeborn, also of Wingate, N.C., in a time of 1:10:12. On the women’s side, Mindy Mammen took first, followed by Lauryn Ursery and Sara Putterman. Mammen, of Woodbridge, Va., crossed the finish line in a time of 1:18:48, while Ursery, of Chapel Hill, N.C., finished in 1:19:13, followed by Putterman, of Washington, D.C., in 1:20:19.

In the VCU Health Richmond 8k, Peter Lomong of Fork Union, Va., crossed the finish line first ahead of Clint McKelvey of Arlington, Va., and Gavin Gaynor of Raleigh, N.C. Lomong’s winning time was 23:19, followed by McKelvey at 23:31 and Gaynor at 23:35.

Sylvia Russell took first in the women’s race, followed by Paige Fisher in second and Nicolette Mateescu in third. Russell, of Morgantown, W.Va, had a time of 28:40, while Fisher, of Raleigh, N.C., came in at 28:58, followed by Mateescu, of Kendall Park, N.J., at 29:00.

The 2022 event also included the third edition of the Richmond Challenge, in which participants took part in one race distance in person and have the month of November to complete the other two distances virtually. Nearly 100 runners are registered for the 2022 Richmond Challenge.

Over 16,000 runners registered to take part in all three races combined, and tens of thousands more spectators lined the streets to cheer on runners as they made their way to the riverfront finish in downtown Richmond. Full results are available at www.RichmondMarathon.org.

The 2023 Allianz Partners Richmond Marathon is scheduled for Saturday, November 11. A special $85 marathon entry fee, $75 half marathon entry fee and $30 8k entry fee is available starting Sunday, November 13, at 12 p.m. and continuing through Thursday, November 17. For more information and full results, please visit www.richmondmarathon.org.

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Downtown

Richmond Marathon races provide community, support to go the distance

The Richmond Marathon races are expected to draw 16,000 participants this year and up to 30,000 spectators throughout the city, according to organizers.

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By Sam Madrigal 

Emily Krapf trained alone on her treadmill in 2012 for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach.

Her goal was to get a new job, move to a new city and complete a half-marathon in one year, Krapf said. Training on a treadmill was discouraging and did not prepare her for a crucial aspect of running – the weather.

On race day, she was not as prepared as she expected. The weather was humid, which she was not ready to deal with, Krapf said. She was discouraged from completing another half-marathon for five years, but eventually returned to long-distance running.

“I had a few friends who were doing the half [marathon] in Richmond,” Krapf said. “They were telling me a lot of really good things about the training team.”

Krapf joined Sports Backers’ half-marathon training team for the next race. She is one of 2,300 people on a training team this year for the organization’s races, including its marathon, half-marathon and 8K races taking place Saturday, Nov. 12 in Richmond. The nonprofit has provided a way to train for these long races for more than 20 years, according to its website.

The Richmond Marathon races are expected to draw 16,000 participants this year and up to 30,000 spectators throughout the city, according to Pete Woody, Sports Backers’ public relations and communications manager. Approximately 2,000 more runners are expected to participate than last year, but participation hasn’t reached pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels. More than 19,000 people participated in the Richmond Marathon races in 2019, according to Sports Backers.

Krapf has participated in the half-marathon training team since 2016, and the upcoming race will be her seventh half-marathon.

“I love just the atmosphere,” Krapf said. “I always tell people that like running races is just such a happy place.”

Volunteer coaches who have gone through the training lead the teams. The coaches help runners of any skill level and encourage them throughout the process.

Training typically includes a few short runs during the week and a long run on the weekend, Krapf said. There are also teams to help train people for hill workouts or track workouts.

Chris Mason became a coach after being on a Sports Backers’ training team. He is now in his seventh year as a coach on the marathon training team and first year at the helm of Team Sky. The team helps runners hold themselves accountable, Mason said.

“When you get into these marathon training teams or any kind of training team, it’s more than just about the running,” Mason said.

Coaches are on the courses during race day in addition to the support they offer throughout training, Mason said. Coaches jump in to run during the race when runners need support. Mason said he enjoys running the hill on the Arthur Ashe Boulevard section of the course.

The running teams become friend groups. Mason compared them to the bonds kids experience in summer camp. Mason said he enjoyed coaching during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic because smaller teams brought teams closer. During that time, Mason’s team had 20 participants as opposed to the approximately 200 people who are currently on his team.

“I really got to know them,” Mason said. “When you have my team with 200 people in all different varied cases, it’s not as easy to get to know everybody.”

People’s comfort levels around others dropped as a result of the pandemic, Mason said. Before COVID-19, people didn’t mind touching water cups that others touched, but people are now more cautious about this. Now participants are required to bring their own water containers.

COVID-19 restrictions have slowly gone away, and registration increased since the height of the pandemic, Woody said. The teams gather for long runs over the weekends now that large group gatherings have returned.

Krapf reignited her passion for running with support from training teams. After Richmond’s half-marathon in November, Krapf plans to complete three more half-marathons before the end of the year. The training teams and running groups are key to her success.

“Having a community is huge for me personally,” Krapf said. “I just feel like it’s so nice just to kind of know that other people are in it with you.”

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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