Run one of the most spectacular rail-trails east of the Mississippi! The seven-mile Chessie Trail, situated at the southern end of the Shenandoah Valley, parallels the scenic Maury River and connects historic Lexington, Virginia, with the boom-town community of Buena Vista. The smooth gravel and grass trail runs along the former Chesapeake and Ohio rail line and parts of the earlier James and Kanawha Canal towpath. You’ll run through an ever-changing landscape along the wild Maury River, through farmland and leafy autumn canopies, past ruins of massive stone locks and dams. View wildlife from fish and ducks to rabbits, wild turkeys, and even bald eagles (if you are lucky), feel the cool moist air as you pass small caves, and enjoy the serenity of a breeze rustling through a bamboo forest.
Half marathon runners will see nearly all of the trail as they head east towards Buena Vista, loop back to the starting line on the way to Lexington, and then loop back down to the finish line.
5 K runners will head towards Lexington, running along remote sections of the Maury River through forests and fields, and at the base of towering limestone cliffs. When the river bends into a double horseshoe, they will loop back for a slightly downhill finish.
Walkers are welcome in both the half marathon and 5K.
Half marathon registration includes a free, pre-race pasta dinner (except student registration) at the famous Salerno Family Restaurant, long sleeve t-shirt, custom medals for all finishers, awards to top overall finishers and age group winners, and post-race pizza, snacks, and beverage.
5K runners will receive a t-shirt, medals to top overall finishers and age group winners, and snacks and beverage following the race.
Plenty of free parking near the start and plenty of other activities to make a weekend of it in the most beautiful part of Virginia! Registration for each race is limited to the first 300, so register now to ensure your entry.