Runners from other towns and states will be coming to Letcher County this weekend for the firstever half marathon on Little Shepherd Trail.
The Master of the Mountain Half Marathon Trail Race will start at 8 a.m. on August 24 at the parking of the viewing area atop Pine Mountain (US 119) near Whitesburg. The race will span the 13.1-miles onelane, paved trail to Kingdom Come State Park.
“The hope is that it will become an annual thing and have another reason to have people come to Letcher County,” said Shad Baker, president of The Pine Mountain Trail Conference. “We’re excited to finally have an event with the trail.”
He said the event is another way to encourage fitness and bring in tourism.
With the event beginning Saturday morning, organizers anticipate that out-oftown participants will stay overnight at local hotels.
Baker said 60 participants had signed up for the race by August 16. About 15 runners are from Letcher County and others are from Shelbyville, Campton, Frankfort, Lexington and Louisville. Participants will also be traveling from Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, Tennessee and West Virginia.
During the half marathon participants may see grouse, turkeys, deer or even a bear.
“There are lots of incredible views along the way,” said Baker.
The National Guard will provide aide stations along the course. Double Kwik donated trophies and Food City is supplying water and sports drinks.
Some people may decide to walk the trail.
“ It’s a lot of up and down,” said Baker. “No big climbs.”
Trey Narramore, of Whitesburg, spearheaded the event as a fund-raiser for The Pine Mountain Trail. Participants can still register Saturday. Cost is $75 on race day.
For more information, contact Baker at 633-2362 or Narramore at 634-0033.