**This post is written in partnership with Amtrak Virginia and Virginia Department of Rail & Public Transportation.**
It’s no secret that Virginia is for runners, and there’s a full schedule of road races across the Commonwealth each year to back that up. Whether you like to run with ocean breezes or mountain views, there’s a race for you.
Of course, you likely won’t be traveling on foot to the race. Why not skip the highways and ride the rails? Amtrak has nine passenger rail routes and 23 stations, taking you directly to many of Virginia’s most popular destinations. Not only do you avoid traffic, you have lots of options for staying loose after the race. Amtrak offers wide, comfortable reclining seats with plenty of legroom where you can stretch – and stretch out. You also can get up and walk around the train to prevent cramping. If you need to refuel, the café car has sandwiches, salads, snacks and hot and cold beverages available for purchase.
To get you inspired, this post lists some of the many marathons and half-marathons across the state, organized by city. All are easily accessible by rail. Just take the train, take a medal and take it easy.
Just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., Alexandria is known for its rich colonial history and scenic waterfront. The Amtrak station (ALX) is conveniently located right in the heart of the city.
- Alexandria Running Festival Half Marathon & 5K – May
- Potomac River Run Marathon – May
- Potomac River Run Marathon & Half Marathon – September
- DCRRC Gar Williams Half Marathon – December
Passenger trains travel right down the middle of Center Street in the charming town of Ashland. Unique shops, restaurants, galleries and historic homes are just steps away from the sheltered Amtrak platform (ASD).
- Patrick Henry Half Marathon – August
Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville offers cultural, natural, and artistic history. The Amtrak station (CVS) is an easy walk from the University of Virginia campus and bustling downtown.
- Charlottesville Marathon, Half Marathon, 8K & Kids Mile – April
- Charlottesville Fall Classic Half Marathon & 10K – October
Visitors to Richmond are attracted to Virginia’s capital city for history, arts, fine dining, outdoor recreation and sports. Richmond has two Amtrak stations: Main Street Station (RVM) and Staples Mill Road Station (RVR).
Full of modern charm, Petersburg is famous for its rich history, including several Revolutionary and Civil War battles. The Amtrak station (PTB) is also a beautiful example of Mid-Century Modern architecture.
- Petersburg Half Marathon & 5K – April
A popular coastal destination, Newport News offers historic sites, museums and maritime adventures with inviting beaches and natural parks to explore. You’ll find the Amtrak station (NPN) close to the James River.
- One City Marathon & 8K – March
- The Neighborhood Harvest Crawlin’ Crab Half Marathon, 5K & 1K – October
- Noland Trail Marathon – October
A major seaport, Norfolk attracts outdoor enthusiasts for fishing, boating and surfing in the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. The recently constructed Amtrak station (NFK) is close to the waterfront.
- Norfolk Harbor Half Marathon – November
Williamsburg, Virginia’s “Colonial Capital,” offers visitors historical, cultural and recreational activities and events throughout the year. The Amtrak station (WBG) is within walking distance of Colonial Williamsburg.
- Colonial Half Marathon & 5K – February
Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Roanoke is known for its scenic beauty, outdoor recreation and cultural offerings. The sheltered Amtrak platform (RNK) is located in the bustling downtown area.
- Blue Ridge Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K – April
- Conquer the Cove Marathon & 25K – June
- LewisGale Salem Half Marathon, 8K & Kids Race – October
- Star City Half Marathon & 10K – November
Fredericksburg offers a little bit of everything, from battlefields and museums to water fun and children’s activities. Amtrak’s platform and shelter (FBG) are just one block from the Rappahannock River waterfront.
- Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon & Semper 5ive Run – May
- Fredericksburg Blue & Gray Half Marathon – December
The “City of Seven Hills,” Lynchburg is a center of cultural activities such as concerts, plays, lecture series and art shows. Amtrak’s intermodal Kemper Street station (LYH) is also served by local and intercity buses.
- Lynchburg Half Marathon & 5K – August
Ready to Run?
Head to Virginia.Amtrak.com to book your tickets for a comfortable, convenient travel experience. Book at least 14 days in advance to save up to 25%, or check out the everyday discounts we offer. Just ride, run and enjoy!
Before June 30, On the day of your excursion, you can use the Amtrak mobile app to access the Lyft app and request a ride. New users of Lyft will receive $5 off each of their first four Lyft rides by using the promo code AMTRAKLYFT.