Hokie Half Marathon Race Tips and Review

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Blacksburg’s picturesque streets and Huckleberry Bike Trail served as runners’ paths as they took part in the inaugural Hokie Half Marathon. Live music and boisterous crowds provided motivation to reach the finish line successfully.

If you’re considering participating in the Hokie Half, there are a few steps that will ensure a smooth experience on race day. Take these precautions now so that your experience won’t turn into an epic fail!

The Course

Runners can expect a flat and scenic course with ample support along the way, including water stations every two miles, Gatorade at mile 8, and Gu at mile 12. There will also be porta potties throughout the race route as well as live music performances by bands like Christiansburg High School Band as they made their way back home to Blacksburg.

Spectators can support runners as they cross the finish line, purchase food and drinks at the post-race party and enjoy Mother Tucker’s BBQ Food Truck’s special meals for runners who have valid bibs. Top male and female half marathon winners receive custom finisher medals; 5K winners receive Tech shirts. Both races are certified courses by USA Track & Field.

The course starts from Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center and follows roads before turning onto Huckleberry Bike Trail. For four miles of the race, runners will encounter mostly flat terrain before having an occasional hilly section nearer the end. Once through campus and Lane Stadium, runners will then continue towards Blacksburg downtown where the race finishes up.

The Hokie Half Marathon offers runners an ideal way to explore Virginia. No matter whether it is for fun or to challenge themselves, this race promises an unforgettable experience – so if you are interested in joining, make sure that you register early!

The Start

As Fall approaches, come experience beautiful Blacksburg Virginia and run with the Hokies! On Sunday morning the 9th Annual Hokie Half Marathon and 5K kicked off in Blacksburg at just after sunrise at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center with runners gathered outside ready for its start – running along roads and the Huckleberry Bike Trail, with both flat terrain and hills included on its 13.1 mile course! You won’t want to miss this exciting run filled with live music along the route and plenty of supportive spectators cheering them along their journey! Don’t miss this race!

Starting runners will be welcomed at the beginning by members of Vermont Corps of Cadets and serenaded with the national anthem before beginning their race. Most runners should spend most of their time near the finish line where most porta potties, music and bag drop off will take place.

Soon, runners will turn off the roads and onto the Huckleberry Trail – an idyllic section that winds its way through wooded areas, farmland, and rolling hills before rejoining the roads to return to Downtown Blacksburg where live music and crowd support await their finish!

At various intervals along the course, there will be six aid stations offering water and Gatorade; miles two and five will have three flavors of GU; Chocolate Outrage (with caffeine), Vanilla Bean and Strawberry Banana will all be available to runners at these aid stations. Restrooms are located periodically as well as emergency medical services on-site for your comfort; runners have four hours to complete this course – plan accordingly!

The Finish

Before dawn on Sunday, runners made their way up Pratt Drive towards the Vermont Corporate Research Center to the starting line and lay out for an 13.1-mile run toward its conclusion. As runners took off under the colors from VT Corps of Cadets for national anthem presentation and began their trek, an amazing sight unfolded before them as an array of colors presented colors to represent America in honor of this monumental effort!

The single circuit course takes runners along roads and the Huckleberry Trail, with one short stretch into Christiansburg before returning to Blacksburg. USA Track & Field-certified, runners pass through scenic downtown Blacksburg and its surrounding farmland while drinking water and Gatorade at aid stations every two miles; additional Gatorade supplements will be offered four and eight miles, along with restroom facilities at six, nine, and twelve miles.

At the conclusion of every race, a live band plays as participants cross the finish line and participants receive their Hokie Bird finisher medal as a token of appreciation for all their efforts.

Getachew Asfaw was victorious in the men’s competition with an official time of 1:17:25 while Etaferhu Temesgen completed her run in 1:21:11 to take home both a medal and T-shirt as souvenirs of this race in southwest Virginia.

Part of the proceeds from this event go toward local groups and charities, such as Vermont Running Club, Triathlon Club, Blacksburg High School XC Team Pulaski H.S XC Team Our House Vermont Running Club’s Scholarship Fund Blacksburg Christiansburg Rescue Squads as well as many others. VT Athletic Department then uses remaining funds for its programs; for more information and participation click here

The Route

The Hokie Half Marathon and 5K is an annual running race held each October, featuring both half marathon and 5K distances on an USA Track & Field certified course that primarily travels along roads and paved bike trails in scenic Blacksburg, Virginia. For four miles on roads followed by six on Huckleberry Bike Trail before returning back onto roads for final two miles – featuring water stations every two miles for Gatorade or water, porta potties at mile eight with Gu station, porta potties as well as live music!

Even under constant drizzle, the Hokie Half Marathon started on a positive and lively note. A field of 1,200 runners ran up Pratt Drive at the Vermont Corporate Research Center around 7am with National Anthem being performed by VT Corps of Cadets.

Getachew Asfaw was victorious in the men’s division with an overall time of 1 hour, 7 minutes and 25 seconds while Etaferhu Temesgen won in female categories with her time of 1:16 hours and 25 seconds. While many top runners came from within the local region, an Ethiopian contingent also participated actively.

Even with the rain pouring down, runners enjoyed the beautiful autumn morning and were motivated by all of their hard work in training. Kevin Byrd demonstrated the value of consistent training by improving his time by over three minutes compared to last year. It was his second half marathon race within just one week; previously competing at Grindstone 100 near Staunton.

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