• Press Release

The Elizabeth River Run 10k Returns Home to Norfolk on Memorial Day Weekend



Words and Images courtesy of the Elizabeth River Trail Foundation.


The 42nd Annual Elizabeth River Run 10k is returning home to Norfolk on May 29, 2021. After fifteen years in Portsmouth, the 6.2-mile race will return with an all-new course on the iconic Elizabeth River Trail. Runners of all levels will begin at the starting line on the Old Dominion University campus, weave through tree-lined historic neighborhoods, take in sweeping views of the Elizabeth and Lafayette Rivers on the Hampton Boulevard Bridge, and cross the finish line in a private park located at the Port of Virginia. This is the first race to be exclusively held on the Elizabeth River Trail, a 10.5 mile multi-modal trail with award-winning amenities.


“We are excited to welcome the return of the Elizabeth River Run for its 42nd year and inaugural 10K along the vibrant path of Norfolk’s Elizabeth River Trail,” said Norfolk Mayor, Kenneth Cooper Alexander, Ph.D. “The Tidewater Striders, Virginia’s largest running club, have graciously hosted this event since 1979, and the region appreciates their service as champions for a physically active and healthy Hampton Roads. We are grateful that they are partnering with the Elizabeth River Trail Foundation for this remarkable Memorial Day weekend event.”


The first Elizabeth River Run was conceived and developed by the Tidewater Striders run club in May 1979 in conjunction with the Armed Forces Staff College and The Virginian-Pilot and The Ledger-Star. The entry fee was $4, and awards were presented in nine male age groups and five female age groups. The race started at the Armed Forces Staff College on Hampton Boulevard and finished in Downtown Norfolk on Waterside Drive. Registered runners exceeded the expected 2,000 and later reports indicate that in its first year, the Elizabeth River Run was the 47th largest race in the United States.


“The Striders are very happy to be bringing ERR back to Norfolk where it all started back in 1979,” said Thomas Hicks Tidewater Striders president and race director. “We have designed a course that shows off gorgeous Norfolk sites including the Elizabeth River Trail, ODU campus, historic neighborhoods and parts of the original race course.”



Registration for the 10k, One Mile and Kid’s Mile races opens on April 1, at 8:00 a.m. The race will host 1,000 runners. “This year’s 10K has been modified to accommodate COVID-19 safety protocols, and we are confident volunteers, staff and participants will be set and ready to go for this fun and socially distanced event,” said Mayor Alexander.


New this year, prize money will be awarded to top three male and female overall and male and female masters winners. The first place overall prize is $250. Race proceeds will benefit Tidewater Striders and the Elizabeth River Trail Foundation. For more information, a race map and to register, visit: https://events.elizabethrivertrail.org/err


“The Elizabeth River Run 10k is the perfect event for the northern end of the trail,” said Cheryl White, executive director of the Elizabeth River Trail Foundation. “We are thrilled to partner with the Tidewater Striders and our presenting sponsor, Sentara, to bring the run back to Norfolk and give it a home on the Elizabeth River Trail for years to come.”


Sentara is the presenting sponsor for this event with additional support from TowneBank and Elizabeth River Crossings. The race route is anchored by key community partnerships with Old Dominion University and the Port of Virginia. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Please visit: https://events.elizabethrivertrail.org/err-sponsorship for more information.


The Elizabeth River Trail Foundation’s mission is to promote, enhance and transform the Elizabeth River Trail into the most iconic urban riverfront trail in the country. The ERT runs 10.5 miles and connects businesses, historic attractions and 28 neighborhoods within a five-minute walk. The multi-use trail is designed for walking, running and biking. It comprises 11 sections from Norfolk State University to NIT Terminals along the Elizabeth River. In 2020, the Foundation was able to build multiple new unique and award winning amenities, including a kayak launch, play sculpture and double turbo challenge course in Plum Point Park. Major sponsors include Sentara and the City of Norfolk. For more information, visit www.elizabethrivertrail.org.


The Tidewater Striders has hosted the Elizabeth River Run annually on Memorial Day weekend since 1979. Formed in 1972, it is the largest running club in Virginia and one of the ten largest in the United States. It serves to promote fitness-related activities such as running, walking and multi-sport events in our community. For more information, visit https://www.tidewaterstriders.com.

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