Runners pound pavement for trails

Anthony Gonzalez Staff Reporter

October 4, 2013

Runners will be pounding the pavement for an event that will raise money for the Elkin Valley Trails Association (EVTA).

On Oct. 19, the Elkin Running Club will hold its first INSANE TERRAIN 5K and 10K Road Race for runners, hikers and walkers in Elkin.

All contestants who register by Saturday will be guaranteed a technical shirt, said officials.

“The goal of the event is to raise $5,000 that will be used to help build bridges over Big Elkin Creek, which are essential in order to create a continuous trail from Elkin Municipal Park to Stone Mountain State Park,” said race organizer Robert Ball.

According to the Elkin Running Club, running has become an increasingly popular sport. Statistics indicate that finishers of road races doubled from 1990 to 2000 in the U.S. Even more on trend are unconventional races, similar to the INSANE TERRAIN.

“This is not your typical flat and fast race,” said Ball. “We wanted to be a little more unique and design a course that is more ‘trail like’ to attract not only runners, but also walkers and hikers who may be used to a different type of terrain. Once the bridges on the trails are built, we envision the race will evolve into a trail run that starts at the Big Elkin Creek in Elkin and goes all the way to Stone Mountain State Park.”

The 5K race starts at 8 a.m. and the 10K race starts at 8:45 a.m. at The Liberty located at 222 E. Main St. in downtown Elkin.

The event includes a beer tasting, snacks and awards after the race. Twin City Track Club of Winston-Salem is providing all race logistics, including personnel to manage start and finish lines, race timing and scoring, and online posting of race results.

Avid trail runner Crystal Morphis is supporting the race. “I’ve been trail running for over 10 years, and I’m so glad to see a local event supporting the development of a trail system. Elkin is in a terrific area for outdoor activities but we have been lacking infrastructure. I’m eager to see the completion of the Elkin Valley Trails system.”

Elkin trailblazers are excited about the opportunity.

Dr. Bill Blackley of the Elkin Valley Trails Association said, “We are excited about this event and are hopeful that it will raise $5,000 to help build the bridges over Big Elkin Creek which are essential to create a continuous trail from Elkin Municipal Park to Stone Mountain State Park. Once completed, this trail will become a section of the Mountains to Sea Trail. Equally important, we hope this will become an annual event that will serve to bring awareness about the trails to a broader audience and further the fantastic support we’ve already received and continue to receive from our community and surrounding areas.”

Yadkin Bank is the presenting sponsor of the event.

Mark DeMarcus, executive vice president/chief operating officer with Yadkin Bank, said, “Yadkin Bank is pleased to be a sponsor of the INSANE TERRAIN race and the Elkin Valley Trails Association, both of which promote health and wellness which are important to our company. Furthermore, we believe the Elkin Valley Trails is an excellent cause that makes a positive impact on our local community where our business thrives.”

Businesses donating in-kind services and cash contributions to the INSANE TERRAIN race include The Liberty, 222 Public House, Renfro Corporation, Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital, Yadkin Valley Urology, Tri County Orthopedics and Blowing Rock Brewing Company.

According to the Elkin Running Club, research indicates that trails and greenways stimulate the local economy by attracting and retaining small businesses, increasing tourism dollars and decreasing health care costs. In addition to these benefits, trails and greenways serve to enhance property values, provide alternative transportation options, create environmental benefits and increase social connectedness.

Specifically, proceeds of the race assist EVTA trailblazers who are working on a multi-use trail system that connects downtown Elkin through Wilkes County to Stone Mountain State Park. The Elkin Board of Commissioners has unanimously thrown support behind EVTA efforts and are overseeing a vital construction project that will eventually erect an 80-foot pedestrian footbridge in Elkin for the Elkin and Alleghany trail.

The Elkin pedestrian bridge costs $45,861.47, a sum paid for by the EVTA through fundraising efforts. The bridge will be located about 200 feet above the Shoe Factory Dam.

Race details

Register online at active.com: http://beta.active.com/elkin-nc/running/elkin-valley-trails-association-insane-terrain-road-race-2013, or send completed registration forms to Elkin Valley Trails Association, P.O. Box 91, Elkin, NC 28621. Please make checks payable to EVTA.

Register by Oct. 12: 10K = $35; 5K = $25

Register after Oct. 12: 10K = $40; 5K = $30

For more information about the INSANE TERRAIN road race, visit elkinvalleytrails.org

Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 835-1513 or email at agonzalez@civitasmedia.com