Sports Backers’ first year event reaches capacity, registration opens for next year

RICHMOND, VA – The inaugural Virginia Credit Union River City Half and River City 5k was held on Saturday, March 9, exceeding all expectations and selling out with over 2,750 participants, including 2,000 in the half marathon distance and 750 for the 5k. Keira D’Amato took home first place and was an integral part of event promotions. Her store, =PR = Run & Walk by Keira D’Amato, served as an event sponsor. She also coordinated and participated in a live podcast recording with national podcaster Ali Feller drawing a crowd of 300 ticketed guests. The Virginia Credit Union River City Half and River City 5k, organized by Sports Backers, brought together participants from throughout the Commonwealth and from over 40 states throughout the country, creating an unforgettable experience for all involved.

Participants ranging from seasoned athletes to first-time racers reveled in the event’s scenic route that showcased the beauty of Richmond. The course started and finished at the award-winning University of Richmond campus and took participants over the Huguenot Bridge, along Riverside Dr., through Stratford Hills and Westover Hills, over the Nickel Bridge, and back through Richmond’s iconic Windsor Farms neighborhood. Those running were treated to views of the James River, blossoming nature, and beautiful historical homes. The picturesque course has been credited with the unprecedented turnout.

“The inaugural Virginia Credit Union River City Half and River City 5K in Richmond exceeded our wildest expectations,” said Molly Johnson, Race Director. “It brought together a community in motion and marked the start of a new tradition that truly displays the amazing scenery we have along Richmond’s riverfront.”

“The Virginia Credit Union River City Half Marathon and 5K is a wonderful new tradition, celebrating the well-being of our community and the beauty of our region,” said University of Richmond President Kevin F. Hallock. “The University of Richmond is so proud to partner with Sports Backers on this year’s race, which started and ended on our breathtaking campus.”

Virginia Credit Union was the event’s title sponsor. As a sponsor of many Sports Backers events, Virginia Credit Union has shown they are a champion for community wellness.

“The Virginia Credit Union River City Half and 5K’s debut was remarkable — highlighting personal victories, community support, and the joy of crossing the finish line, solidifying its status as a can’t miss event in Richmond and nationally,” said Phil Marine, Senior Vice President Marketing & Creative Services with Virginia Credit Union.

Sports Backers partnered with several different area nonprofits and official event charities of the event. CARITAS, Greater Richmond SCAN, Greater Richmond Fit4Kids, Girls on the Run of Greater Richmond, SOAR365, Shood, Sportable, and Virginia Capital Trail Foundation were all charity partners. Participants not only had the option to donate to these groups during registration, but could also run as a fundraiser for the organization of their choosing. Over $6,500 was raised for the charities involved.

The day wrapped up with a special live podcast recording event with Ali Feller, host of the Ali On The Run Podcast and professional runner, Keira D’Amato, and featured special guests. The event was a sellout with 300 guests purchasing tickets to attend the show and a Hardywood Happy Hour in the Robins Family Forum Theater at the Virginia Museum of History of Culture. After the show Ali and Keira hosted a meet and greet. Those that attended the meet and greet also received swag bags with items from Nike, Artiken, and more. Feller and D’Amato both participated in the race as well.

Registration for the 2025 Virginia Credit Union River City Half and River City 5k will open on Monday, March 11 and early bird pricing will run from March 11 – 15 at The second running of the event will take place on March 8, 2025.

About Sports Backers

With a key message of Let’s Go, RVA, the mission of Sports Backers is to inspire to live actively. A nonprofit organization, Sports Backers is dedicated to producing nationally recognized quality sporting events and programs that motivate residents and visitors alike to be more active, supporting youth running and fitness programs, and advocating for safe and connected networks of bike and pedestrian infrastructure. Learn more at