A Thousand Strong

Article Published: May. 3, 2012 | Modified: May. 6, 2012
A Thousand Strong

The New River Marathon hits the road running this Saturday, May 5, in Ashe County, and registration is open through race day.

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The second running of the New River Marathon, Half-Marathon and 5K is scheduled for Saturday, May 5.

The family-owned Riverside Restaurant, which sits on the banks of the New River in the Brownwood community in Ashe County, will again be hosting the start and finish line and the Friday night pre-race dinner.

The inaugural event in 2011 welcomed almost 800 runners to the Brownwood, Todd and Fleetwood communities.

“From the conception, we wanted the runners and their families to have a great racing experience, to experience the beauty of our New River Valley, Ashe County, and North Carolina’s High Country, and to enjoy a taste of mountain hospitality,” race co-director Ken Sevensky said. “It was our desire to create a race festival that offered races that appealed to runners of all abilities.”

Runners have a choice of four races: marathon, half-marathon, 5K and 1-mile fun run. Walkers are welcome in the half-marathon, 5K and 1-mile fun run. All races will be held Saturday morning, May 5. However, the 1-mile fun run will be held during the pre-race dinner Friday evening, May 4.

The New River Marathon is certified by USA Track and Field and therefore serves as a Boston Marathon qualifying event. The half-marathon course is in the certification process. Race registration is open through race day.

“We were thrilled with the success of last year,” Sevensky said. “Our sponsors, the Fleetwood and Todd volunteer fire departments and the community groups that worked with us at registration, the finish line and on the course rolled out the red carpet with their professionalism and courtesy. In addition, we know that we live in truly special place and it’s fun to share the beauty of the place we call home with other runners.”

Sevensky said the goal for 2012 is to improve on last year’s success. It may already be met. The number of registered runners has more than doubled since this time last year, he said.

That means more bystanders to support the runners, as well.

During and after the races, family and friends who aren’t running will be able to enjoy the Riverside Restaurant’s amenities, along with tunes from bluegrass stalwarts Amantha Mill, which will once again be serving up some of the High Country’s best music at the finish line, Sevensky said.

Sevensky’s also pleased to offer an “even more unique and valued” slate of awards this year, courtesy of marathon sponsors’ support.

“We are extremely grateful for our sponsors’ support, which continues to grow, enabling us to improve the quality of the race experience,” he said.

To learn more about the New River Marathon, visit http://www.newrivermarathon.com or contact Sevensky at (336) 877-8888.

The New River Marathon is produced by Blue Ridge Endurance LLC, which also produces the Blue Ridge Relay, Southern Blue Relay, The Gauntlet Run, Throwdown at Cooper’s Farm, The Black and Blue and The Mount Jefferson Challenge.

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