The weather becomes favorable and temperatures rise steadily.
Spring is right around the corner and that means the local road racing scene is going to heat up in a few weeks.
With the easing of COVID-19 related restrictions across the country, races are returning to pre-pandemic numbers and people are getting more and more encouraged.
Here’s a look at some of the upcoming road races in the area.
JOGGIN’ FOR THE NOGGIN’ 5K
The 5K “Joggin’ for the Noggin'” benefiting Crumley House in Limestone will be repeated on March 26.
The course is billed as one of the region’s most scenic 5k events, starting at 10 a.m. With a majestic backdrop of the Appalachian Mountains, it’s the perfect event to usher in spring.
In addition to the run/walk, the event includes an event T-shirt for competitors as well as rewards for division winners.
Professional race management and electronic timing will be provided by We Run Events.
Online registration is still open at https://crumleyhouse.com/.
VIRGINIA CREEPER MARATHON
The 24th annual race on March 27 is one of the best low-key races at a very minimal cost of $15.
Beginning near the Watauga trailhead of the Virginia Creeper Trail in Abingdon, the route only follows the road for the first part and then is on the scenic trail.
Small race souvenirs, which are paperweights with race logos, are given to participants on race day. A finisher certificate is mailed to first-time marathon runners.
Awards will be presented to the best men and women, but there is no official awards ceremony. The race is limited to 100 runners.
More information can be found at http://www.runtricities.org/creepermarathon/.
UNION HALF-MARATHON AND RELAY
The fifth Union Half Marathon and Relay will begin at the Big Stone Gap, Va., Visitors Center on Saturday, April 2.
The route will use the paved Greenbelt Trail at Big Stone Gap and then join the Powell River Trail in Appalachia. Participants will be able to take the two old railway tunnels that make up the Powell River Trail.
All finishing participants will receive a unique finisher medal and race t-shirt.
If you can’t run a full half marathon, find teammates and run the course as a relay team.
Participants can register to run in person or virtually for the same price. If the live event is cancelled, all runners will be moved to virtual and will still receive all medals and jerseys associated with the race. There is no paper registration on race day, but you can register online up until race day.
More information can be found at https://sites.google.com/wisek12.org/union-half-marathon.
“RUN FOR YOUR WISHES” 5K
Make-A-Wish East Tennessee grants the life-changing wishes of children with critical illnesses. One of 59 chapters in the United States, Make-A-Wish East Tennessee is affiliated with Make-A-Wish America.
The Chapter is an independent 501 © 3 organization and has operated for over 32 years, serving 36 counties from Chattanooga to the Tri-Cities and the Plateau to the Eastern Border. During this time, nearly 1,750 wishes have been granted to incredible children in East Tennessee who are struggling with serious illnesses.
Make-A-Wish East Tennessee grants wishes to seriously ill children, not just terminally ill children.
The race will start at 9 a.m. on April 9 at King Commons Park in Johnson City.
Participants are encouraged to run or walk dressed as their favorite characters like princesses, superheroes, wizards and more. This race is actually part of a three-event series, with the other two races taking place in Knoxville on June 4 and Chattanooga on June 18.
More information can be found at https://thegoosechase.org/runforwishesseries/.
AMAZING GRACE 5K
The super fast Sunday night 5k and mile is back for its 12th edition in downtown Kingsport at Church Circle on April 24. Inflatables and other outdoor activities for the kids and great camaraderie are also featured.
The mile race starts at 5:15 p.m., while the 5K starts at 6 p.m.
Electronic timing and race management will be provided by We Run Events. Proceeds from the event will support Providence Medical Clinic.
For more information visit https://www.fbcamazingrace5k.com/.
RUN THE TUNNEL
One of the events owned by the State of Franklin Track Club, the 28th annual 3.8-mile road and track race is a scenic, yet challenging course on April 30.
The hills of Natural Tunnel State Park in Duffield will present many challenges for runners.
More information can be found online at www.runtricities.org under the calendar and by scrolling down to the aforementioned date. There is no online registration.
MUSIC AND MILES HALF MARATHON
After receiving rave reviews in 2021, the event returns to Elizabethton on May 7 with the 8:30 a.m. gunshot.
The race will showcase the uniquely beautiful landscapes of Elizabethton and Carter County.
The Goose Chase has partnered with the growing community and it’s not just the Half Marathon and Music & Miles Relays taking place on Saturday morning.
Elizabethton will host its first Friday Downtown presented by Main Street Elizabethton. The event will benefit both local events and businesses in the community.
More information can be found at https://thegoosechase.org/musicandmiles/.
RACKS BY THE 5K/10K TRACKS
These races will open the Racks by the Tracks Festival festivities at Kingsport on May 14th.
Runners can do the “Boss Hog Challenge” by running both the 10K and 5K.
There are also great age group prizes and door prizes.
Goody bags are given to all finishers. There will be a new flat course mostly on the Kingsport Greenbelt. There will be Dri-fit T-shirts, a goodie bag and a festival concert ticket.
Everyone is encouraged to stay to enjoy the Racks by the Tracks Festival, which begins immediately after the race at noon. The Kingsport Festival is where you can enjoy a BBQ, music, great craft beer and wine tasting. B-tag electronic timing by We Run Events.
For more information visit https://www.racksbythetracks.com/race/.
Global Running Day is the first Wednesday in June, and what better way to celebrate than by welcoming the Downtown Mile to downtown Johnson City?
With the festivities starting at 7 p.m. on June 1, there should be plenty of action for everyone. The kids race will be first followed by the elite race at 7:20am and the open race will be at 7:50am.
Elite races will again have cash prizes this year, as $500 will go to the winner for both men and women while $250 will go to second and $100 to third.
Since its inception six years ago, the Downtown Mile has been one of the most fun and regularly traveled. More information can be found at https://thegoosechase.org/downtown-mile/.