Blue Ridge Relay Sept. 9-10

Article Published: Aug. 25, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 6, 2011
Blue Ridge Relay Sept. 9-10

The Blue Ridge Relay, featuring more than 1,300 runners on 120-plus teams, will take place Friday and Saturday, Sept. 9-10.

"It is truly an amazing event that pushes your body, allows you to see beautiful scenery, and creates amazing memories with old and new friends. I would recommend this race to any runner who truly enjoys the feeling one gets from running. Thanks again."

That's just one of the enthusiastic comments from one of the past runners of the Blue Ridge Relay.
This year's Blue Ridge Relay will have teams of four to 12 runners race for 208 miles from Grayson Highlands State Park, Va., to Asheville.

Teams will start throughout Friday morning, run through Ashe, Watauga, Avery, Mitchell, Yancey and Buncombe counties, will run through Friday night, and will finish sometime on Saturday.

The course record is just over 21 hours, but most teams average 29 to 30 hours.

Pointing to the Blue Ridge Relay's growing reputation is the "Best of 2010" list in Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine (, where the magazine named Blue Ridge Relay the second best road race in the Southeast.

Coming in first place was the Komen Race for the Cure race series which is a 5K race series which has raised more than $1 billion for breast cancer research since its inception in 1982.

"We are thrilled about this news and are so thankful to the runners and the community groups who help make the Blue Ridge Relay the success it is," says Blue Ridge Relay director Ken Sevensky.

"Also, it's mind blowing to see our name in front of the Peachtree Road Race, a huge race that takes place in Atlanta and other major Southeast events," Sevensky said.

Sevensky lives in Fleetwood, Ashe County, and is also the owner of Gum Ridge Mill & Flying Pig Furniture, as well as the director for The Gauntlet Run (Sept. 24 in Todd), The Mount Jefferson Challenge (Oct. 8 in West Jefferson), The New River Marathon (May 5, 2012, in Todd), The Southern Blue Relay (April in North Georgia) and The Black and Blue Century & Double Century Cycling Relay (May 2012).

The Blue Ridge Relay course offers some of the well-known scenery of the Virginia and North Carolina Mountains, but highlights the beauty of our less-traveled countryside, sounds of our sparkling creeks, the coolness of our mountain hollows, and some very big views, he said. The course is as challenging as it is beautiful with a total gain in elevation of over 12,000 feet and total loss of almost 15,000 feet.

The organizers of the Blue Ridge Relay will dedicate this year's race to the memory of Ben Dowis, who has been a friend and advocate of the relay.

Through Dowis' leadership, the Pensacola community and the local men's group staff three of the relay's exchange zones and cook up a pancake breakfast for the runners.

In addition to the community groups that volunteer along the 208-mile course, this year's charitable partners are the Pensacola Men's Group, in honor of Dowis, and Ashe Habitat for Humanity. Ashe Habitat for Humanity also staffs several exchange zones each year.

For additional information about the Blue Ridge Relay, visit or call (336) 877-8888.

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