Trail race planning in final stages
McCreary County Trail Town organizers met Friday afternoon to work on final plans for a big trail race next month, presented by McCreary County Tourism, and to go over a final checklist before Trail Town certification is granted later this spring.
The Yamacraw 50K and 10K Trail races are just over a month away, and planners are expecting a large number of participants and onlookers to be in the county that weekend. The group met to make sure details such as trail markings and volunteer staffing are taken care of prior to the race, which is hoped to be the first of several such events hosted in the county.
“I think this will be bigger than any of us anticipated,” McCreary County Deputy Judge Andrew Powell told the group.
Powell noted registration for both the 50K run and 10K run filled up nearly as soon as the race was announced last November, meaning more than 200 racers, along with their families and support personnel will descend on the area for race weekend, putting McCreary into the spotlight.
The event put on by Ultranaut 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. The race is scheduled for April 18.
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.
For more information on the race, please visit www.runyamacraw.com or mccrearytourism.com.
Portions of the proceeds will benefit the National Park Foundation and National Forest Foundation.
Plans for obtaining Trail Town certification are in the final stages as well, with organizers hoping to hold a special ceremony in June.
The event, which culminates three years of work by the Tourism Board, will designate McCreary County as one of Kentucky’s adventure tourism destinations.
Jane Beshear, wife of Governor Steve Beshear, along with several other dignitaries are expected to be on hand for the unveiling, making McCreary County the fifth Trail Town in the state. Olive Hill, Morehead, Livingston and Dawson Springs were among the first communities to receive the distinction.
The Trail Town program was introduced by Governor Steve Beshear to help small communities seeking to take advantage of adventure tourism opportunities in their area.
Trail Towns are communities along long distance trails, an extensive trail system or a river used for canoeing and kayaking.