In 2021, after 15 years in Portsmouth, the 6.2-mile race returned home to Norfolk with an all-new course on the iconic Elizabeth River Trail. Now in its third year back in Norfolk, runners and walkers of all levels 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 beautiful, private park located at the Port of Virginia. The Elizabeth River Run is the only race to be held exclusively on the Elizabeth River Trail, a 10.5 mile multi-modal trail with award-winning amenities.
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, The Virginian-Pilot and The Ledger-Star. The entry fee was $4. 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.