Chessie Trail Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K

Saturday, October 30, 2021 • Lexington, VA • Course Map

Note: A virtual option is available for this event, to be run anytime from October 1 to October 30. Registration details are included below.

Run a mostly flat and fast trail that’s shaded by ash, oak and beech trees that are turning every shade of yellow, orange and red in the fall at this race in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, which features an out-and-back course for the marathon, the half marathon and the 5K along the winding Maury River.

Here’s what you can expect at this race:

It’s flat and fast. The elevation starts at just over 900 feet above sea level, and never drops below about 850 feet, or rises higher than 912 feet.

A gravel and dirt surface throughout. The Chessie Trail is a seven-mile-long public access trail that stretches between Lexington and nearby Buena Vista, and is built on the old Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. It also travels through private lands as well as public, including some cattle farms.

Beautiful scenery that’s a hallmark of the Lexington area. The trail runs alongside the winding Maury River for nearly the entire race, and includes parts of the old James and Kanawha Canal towpath, and features the ruins of plentiful stone locks and dams along the river.

This is also the home of Washington and Lee University, a private liberal arts university that sits on 325 acres in the middle of Lexington near Virginia Military Institute, and whose alumni include the author Tom Wolfe and the explorer Meriwether Lewis (yes, that one — of the famed Lewis & Clark expedition).

Weather that’s perfect for a race. The Chessie Trail Half is run in mid-October, when there should be crisp, cool air and the leaves on the trees should be ablaze with autumn colors of every shade. Because the trail runs through some of the Lexington area’s most scenic woodlands and fields, the course will give you plenty to gaze upon and take your mind off the miles.

All photos courtesy Chessie Trail Half Marathon

Race Weather & Climate

Nestled within the Shenandoah Valley in western Virginia, about an hour’s drive north from Roanoke and roughly 140 miles west of Richmond, Lexington typically sees some of its mildest and driest weather of the year in October, when average temperatures range between the low 40s and the low 70s.

On race day (Oct. 30), the average low is 39ºF and the average high is 64ºF.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the Chessie Trail Fall Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

  • 8:00 AM – half marathon, full marathon
  • 8:30 AM – 5K


  • $45 – $65 for the half marathon
  • $55 – $80 for the full marathon
  • $25 – $35 for the 5K
  • $100 – $160 for the marathon relay


To reserve your spot in the fall 2021 running of Lexington’s Chessie Trail Fall Half Marathon or 5K race, register online at here.

Register Now at

Official Race Website


Ever run in the Chessie Trail Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, as well as anything you learned about the race that you think other runners/walkers should know.

See more races — $50 or Less, Trail Races, Virginia