Run for the Dream Race Weekend in Williamsburg

15 Mar 2012 06:00
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Focus on a race Interview
§staticmap(11329,5,450,250)Hello, on May 20th 2012, you’ll be organizing the Run for the Dream Half Marathon. Can you tell us where it is located?

The Run for the Dream is located in Williamsburg, Virginia, which is about three hours from Washington D.C. Williamsburg is located between Richmond and Virginia Beach. As the home of the historically preserved Colonial Williamsburg and world-class amusement park Busch Gardens, Williamsburg is an award-winning tourist destination and a great place for runners and their families to visit.

How old is the race and why was it created in the first place?

This will be the second year. It was created as a fundraising event for An Achievable Dream, a non-profit that operates two nationally recognized K-12 schools in partnership with a public school system. We wanted to create a first-class, family-friendly event that would also honor our nation’s Wounded Warriors and military veterans. The race director is Dave McGillivray, veteran race director of the Boston Marathon.

What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

The race begins on the picturesque campus of the College of William & Mary, winds through iconic Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area, along the James River on the scenic Colonial Parkway and finishes in the college’s football stadium. The Colonial Parkway provides the greatest challenge, with a series of long rolling hills, but the finish on the 50-yard line – after a loop around the stadium track in front of hundreds of cheering spectators – is well worth it!

Start Line
Credit : Run for the Dream
How many runners do you expect on Sunday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

The inaugural 2011 Run for the Dream was a resounding success and attracted over 4,500 runners from across the nation. The combination of races made the weekend event a popular choice for families, and we are excited to build on that success for year 2!

Do you organize other races during the Week-End? If so, on what distances?

Yes. We’ll have an 8K on Saturday, May 19 at 8 am. The course for the 8K is similar to the half marathon and includes the Historic Area of Colonial Williamsburg and the College of William & Mary. For the second year, the Run for the Dream 8K has been chosen as a national championships race by USA Track & Field (USATF). The 2012 USA Masters 8 km National Championships will be held in conjunction with the 8K and is expected to draw elite Master class athletes from around the country. We also have a Kids Fun Run at noon on Saturday, May 19 that will take place within the college’s football stadium and includes three lengths: 100 meter, 400 meter and one mile.

Joe B with fife and drum
Credit : Charles Hartman
At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

Spring in Virginia brings beautiful weather, but temperatures are variable from the low-60s to the mid-80s. There is the potential for high heat and humidity, so we will have eight water stations and two misting stations along the half marathon course.

Have you planned festivities around the marathon?

A Race Expo will be held Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19 at the Colonial Williamsburg Woodlands Conference Center. Following each race, there will be a Post-Race Bash in the College of William & Mary’s beautiful Sunken Garden. The event will feature live music, delicious barbeque, beer and soft drinks, and exhibitors. On Saturday evening, runners and their guests may attend “Salute to the Nation” on Colonial Williamsburg’s Palace Green, an evening of music, storytelling and fireworks hosted by actor Joe Mantegna.

Zable stadium
Credit : Run for the Dream
The race finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Williamsburg before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

Williamsburg and the Historic Triangle of Virginia offer numerous opportunities for fun for the entire family, including hands-on museum exhibits, Busch Gardens amusement park, five-star restaurants, wineries, and unique shopping opportunities. Known throughout the world, Colonial Williamsburg will serve as the official race hotels with special weekend rates at the Woodlands Hotel & Suites and the Governor’s Inn. Runners should go to to plan their trip. All runners will receive a free pass to Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area and the first 3,000 half marathon runners may reserve a free pass to Busch Gardens to use on race weekend. They can also get family discounts!

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Run for the Dream Half Marathon?

Run for the Dream is an exciting race weekend, with stunning race courses and plenty of opportunities for fun for the whole family!

Interview with Kelly Cannon director of the Run for the Dream Race Weekend. Kelly is a native of Millbrook, New York and a 2005 graduate of The College of William and Mary.