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Run for the hills…and back again

By: Greg Bird

McCreary County will once again play host to intrepid outdoor enthusiasts during the Yamacraw 50k and 10K Trail Race next April.
The event put on by Ultranut Running and sponsored primarily by the McCreary County Tourist Commission, will pit competitors through two scenic but challenging courses. The race will not only present racers with difficult terrain, steep hills and twisting pathways, but also will showcase the natural beauty in the area.
The 50K race covers 31 miles from the Lick Creek Trail to the finish line at Blue Heron, while the 10K will take racers over 6.4 miles of the Blue Heron Loop Trail.
According to the race website, Ultranaut Running is a small, grass-roots organization located in Knoxville, Tennessee dedicated to the sport of trail running. Their stated mission is to promote participation in outdoor activities for a healthy lifestyle, be an advocate for the value of national/regional parks and trail systems and share our commitment to environmental stewardship.
McCreary County Tourism Director Tara Chaney said she was thrilled the county was chosen as a site for the race.
“This race is a fantastic way to show off our scenic beauty and share our unique history with folks across the nation,” She said. “Places that are familiar to us like Yamacraw, Crack-in-the-Rocks, Blue Heron etc. will soon be in the vocabularies of ultra-runners everywhere. The tourist commission is very excited to present this race and for our community to benefit economically from these racers and their families coming in to dine, stay overnight, and shop. This race will certainly highlight the tremendous potential for outdoor recreation and tourism in Scenic McCreary County.”
Chaney added several runners from Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Ohio and New York have already registered for the event within the first few days of the announcement.
Entry fees for the 50K start at just $60 through the end of December, and will increase as the race date draws nearer. Registration is limited to the first 120 contestants. Registration for the 10K starts at just $35, with increases as race day draws nearer as well.
To register for either race, please visit
Portions of the proceeds will benefit the National Park Foundation and National Forest Foundation.
The race will be the first race of its type in McCreary County since the USARAA Adventure Race National Championships, held in October of 2011.

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