Virginia’s Oldest Road Race Returns Nov. 3

By: 
Jonathan Schwab

Tuesday, Oct. 2 – Inspired to continue a longstanding annual running tradition in the area, a small group of local running enthusiasts are bringing back the oldest road race in Virginia, the 58th Lexington-to-Buena Vista 10K.

Already drawing in 29 runners as of last week, this year’s edition of the race will take place on Saturday, Nov. 3, starting at 8:30 a.m. by the Rockbridge Regional Library on Main Street in Lexington, proceeding east on Rte. 60, and ending by the former Bontex in Buena Vista.

After the race was canceled last year due to the small number of participants registered, a team of organizers met in the spring with John “Rocky” Trudgeon, the executive director, Rockbridge Area Recreation Organization, which had been putting on the race, which was first held in 1959. Members of the group putting the race together this year are Josh Elrod, Helen MacDermott, Iana Konstantinova and John Robertson.

Proceeds from the race, for the first time, will support the Rockbridge Christmas Baskets program, a new partner in this event.

Several longtime participants have signed up for the race, including Lexingtonian Roger Koehler, who has run the race 26 times. Koehler said he is “really happy” the organizing group has revived the tradition. “It was a shame to lose the race [last year],” he said. “I remember some of the years when there was snow and rain, and the toughest of all was 20 degrees and a 30 miles per hour wind from the west in my face the entire six miles to Lexington.” The race used to alternate directions, but it’s been going from Lexington to Buena Vista in recent years.

Registration is $35 per person, and participants are encouraged to sign up early. To register, go to www.webscorer.com/lexbv10K. Online registration closes on Nov. 1, but race day registration is also accepted. Each participant will receive a t-shirt. The top three male and female finishers will receive plaques, and medals will be awarded to the top finishers in each age group. Refreshments will be served after the race, and transportation will be provided back to the Rockbridge Regional Library.

There will be volunteers throughout the race, directing runners and helping manage traffic. For more information, or if you wish to volunteer, email lexbv10K@gmail.com.

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