By J. Daniel Rollins
Register-Herald Sports Writer
Runners, are you ready?
The 16th Annual Beckley Half Marathon, 5K Run & 5k Walk is right around the corner.
Slated for Saturday, Oct. 4, the Beckley tradition carries on during what should be a busy and festive autumn weekend.
“The plans have all been set, and we’re ready for next week,” Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce’s Kip Buchanan said.
Participants will arrive in Beckley from more than 14 states to compete and challenge themselves on the 13.1-mile race course, stretching through the heart of Beckley.
The Half Marathon and 5K course will remain as they were in 2012, starting on South Kanawha Street, proceeding to the East Beckley Bypass, YMCA of Southern West Virginia Paul Cline Memorial Youth Sports Complex, Woodrow Wilson High School and the Uptown Beckley Historical District.
“It’s going to be a great race and a part of an overall great weekend for our area,” Buchanan added. “People have turned it into a mini family reunion, coming in for the Marathon and then the Rocket Boys Festival before finally going to Chili Night. It’s a tremendous event.”
However, with all of the events going on, it has made the usual volunteer pool a little thin.
Buchanan states that there is a need for 35 volunteers to help the City of Beckley, Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department and local fire departments patrol and secure the 13.1 mile race course.
“If anyone is interested in helping us, they should call us at the Chamber at 304-252-7328,” he said. “We’ll give them a safety vest to help with traffic control on Kanawha Street, which the city is unable to close down. So we will need all the help we can get.”
A pre-registration and pre-race dinner is planned at UC-Beckley’s Robert C. Byrd Learning Resource Center on Oct. 4 from 6-7 p.m., and raceday registration will begin at 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 5.
Anyone hoping to avoid the last minute rush can pre-register by contacting the Chamber.
As a reminder to residents traveling through Beckley during race day, Kanawha Street will be closed at Church Street at 8 a.m. for pre-race ceremonies. The course will be cleared by 11 a.m.
For more information on the Beckley Half Marathon, contact the Chamber by phone or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Event in need of race day volunteers
By J. Daniel Rollins
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