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RVA runners embrace ‘Tacky Lights’ spectatcle

@richmondoutside
December 9, 2013 4:56pm

As if we needed more evidence that everything the Sports Backers touch (or create) turns to gold, the week after Thanksgiving they announced that they’d filled all 5,000 spots reserved for the inaugural CarMax Tacky Light Run this Saturday evening.

Screen-shot-2012-11-30-at-1.41.50-PM“It’s the biggest first-time event we’ve ever had,” said Jackie Stoneburner, the Sports Backers’ PR and communications manager. She said back in 2000 the first Monument Avenue 10K drew just under 2,500 participants (which is kind of amazing to think about now, when it regularly draws 40,000).

The Tacky Light run is now the group’s fourth-most popular event, after the 10K, the Half-Marathon and the Marathon. And who knows how large it will grow to in future years.

“We had an inkling that it would take off like it did,” Stoneburner said. “With all these theme runs…we thought that this would have the same effect. We knew it would draw in a lot of first-timers and a lot of families because it is non-timed and not competitive at all, but it’s also bringing out the avid runners who want to come out and have a good time and do a fun run.”

Richmonders certainly love their Tacky Lights. That’s always been true. And Midlothian’s Walton Park neighborhood, where the Tacky Light Run winds through, is the epicenter of gaudy Christmas luminosity.

“It’s a really festive neighborhood,” Stoneburner said. “There are 13 cheer stations along the course, and that’s all just neighborhood block parties. There is one woman hosting a singles Meetup. There are 65 people coming, and there’s a waiting list. There’s another RV group…Just this big tailgate party. The support we’ve gotten from the neighbors is just out of this world.

“I don’t want to say there are no other events like this around the country…but this is the largest one we know of.”

While the 5,000 paid entries are all full, a limited number of charity entries to benefit Kicks & Wheels are available for $250 through Wednesday, December 11 at 11:59 p.m. Click here to learn more.


About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?


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