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Running Around Church Hill

Sunset view from Chimborazo Park—yet another perk of running around the neighborhood. Photo by Matt Heintz.

Hello neighbors! All credits for this amazing article goes to our special guest contributor, Kelsey Heintz! Here’s a link to her website!

It’s that time of year again when I wonder what I was thinking when I registered for the Monument Avenue 10K. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been coping with these recent below-40 temps with blankets, Proper Pie, and not exercising. That system’s all well and good until you realize the Richmond area’s beloved annual race is only a short two months away.

And it is. Two months away from right now, people.

So, as I take another warm bite of my sour cream and wild blueberry slice, I’ve gotten to thinking about what I need to do to prepare. In short: I need to run. With the guidance of this Runner’s World article, I’ve decided to take on an eight-week 10K training plan. Lucky for me, Church Hill and its nearby neighborhoods have some solid resources to get me to the finish line in March. If you need some moving-and-grooving inspo, too, here’s what I suggest:

Virginia Capital Trail

The Virginia Capital Trail Richmond Trailhead is just down the road from Church Hill, right near Libby Hill Park. Put in some scenic miles alongside the James, and if you enjoy that while you’re training for Monument Avenue, come back to the trail in October for the Cap Trail 10M/5K. (Or in May for the Dominion Energy Cap2Cap, if biking is more your thing.)

VCU Cary Street Gym

Another close-to-home fitness hub for the Church Hill community is the VCU Cary Street Gym, located about three miles away on… well, Cary Street. Much of its 18,000-square-foot fitness center is occupied by cardio equipment, but if you’re not so into the treadmill experience, there’s a three-lane track inside, as well. The gym also houses a pool, climbing wall, and basketball courts (among even more options), if you’re looking to get your heart rate up in just about any other way.

The Hill Topper 5K

What’s better than racing in a 5K to train for the 10K? Probably sleeping. But don’t settle in for a long winter’s nap just yet. The Hill Topper 5K marks the calendar even earlier than the Monument Avenue 10K and runs right into the Church Hill Irish Festival, where you can enjoy an icy post-race beer and some festive and folksy entertainment. Save your snoozing for April.

That’s all for this article, folks!

Once again, all credits to Kelsey Heintz! Kelsey is a Virginia-based writer who has applied her wordy prowess to blogs, instructional guides, siblings’ Instagram captions, and just about every line in between. Since earning her degree in English from JMU, she’s developed her marketing, business, and technology writing skills while working for various software development and government contracting organizations.

Also, if you plan on going to the Capital Trail, you should know that there is a bit of construction going on! You can still go through the specific area, they’ve created a temporary go-around for it!

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8 months ago

Check out #rvaeastendrunner on Instagram for more running around Church Hill beauty!

7 months ago

I would LOVE more running trail ideas. Is there anywhere a quick drive from Church Hill with reliable parking, where I can find a nice paved trail? The uneven sidewalks here aren’t working great for my 10K training! I’ve thought about the capital trail, but parking is rough down there.

Chip Coutts
Chip Coutts
7 months ago

We have joined the 10K Training Team. Our team runs each Saturday from Richmond Community Hospital, and we have done some wonderful training runs around Churchill. Organized by SportsBackers, I believe it is too late to join for this year, but please consider next year!

7 months ago

Hi, Allie! This article (by another Kelsey) has a lot of good suggestions, including nearby Belle Isle:

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