Thousands ran the Charlottesville Women's Four Miler Saturday, and one of them broke the race's 31-year record. Rachel Ward beat the top time from the race's first year with her time of 21:39.
The annual race at Foxfield in Albemarle County also helped thousands of other women cross finish lines of their own. Cortney Courrejolles, her mother, and sister ran their first race together, alongside friends cheering them on.
"We all want to get to that finish line in life and especially in this race but it's just great. Anyone can do it, we can all do it together," Courrejolles said.
Their friend Jennifer LaFleur says this race is perfect for beginners.
"The fact that it's all women here and that you don't have to be super skinny or super fit to be able to participate and give back and do something for yourself in the process - I think that's really wonderful," LaFleur said.
She had never run a race either until she was drawn to the Women's Four Miler last year out of gratitude.
"I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 and I was treated through 2012 and so I run this race to celebrate my health and to give back to the UVA breast care center," LaFleur said.
This year more than $280,000 will go to the University of Virginia Breast Care Center for patient care and research. And as triumphant runners like Courrejolles and her sister cross their finish line, it's clear this race has already had a powerful impact - a feeling they hope to share with future generations of Charlottesville women.
"I can't wait for my daughter to start doing it with me. It's going to be a family thing," Courrejolles said.
The Women's Four Miler is more than halfway to its fundraising goal and is accepting donations until September 23. Anyone who wants to donate can click here.
Thousands Run Charlottesville Women’s Four MilerMore>>