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Yamacraw Race Cancelled Due to COVID-19

Racers look forward to Yamacraw 2021 on April 10-11.

By Eugenia Jones

Photo courtesy Nichole Epperson-Newport A pair of runners cross the bridge at Blue Heron in April 2019 as they compete in the Yamacraw Run.


After speaking with local officials from the Lake Cumberland District Health Department, Yamacraw Race Directors Brian and Shelley Gajus have cancelled the 2020 Yamacraw Trail Runs that had originally been rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic from April 4-5, 2020 to November 21-22, 2020.
In an announcement on Facebook, the race directors said the health department had concerns about bringing 400+ participants into the county and in the department’s own words, “highly advised against it.” In addition, the unique logistics of the Yamacraw race requiring the use of multiple shuttle buses to move runners both to the race start and from the finish presented an additional COVID-19 concern.
All registered runner’s entries are being 100% deferred towards next spring’s Yamacraw race scheduled for April 10-11, 2021. There is a 25% refund to anyone not interested in rolling over their entry fee to the 2021 date.
Brian and Shelley Gajus apologized for any inconveniences, noting it has been a challenging year for everyone.
“As much as would have loved to put on this race, we said from the beginning that we would follow the guidance and guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as state and local agencies,” the couple said.
Sponsored by Ultranaut Running, a small, grass-roots organization located in Knoxville, TN, the Yamacraw Race is an annual event consisting of marathon runs (50, 20, & 10 K) throughout the rugged and scenic terrains of the Daniel Boone National Forest and Big South Fork River and Recreation Area. The 50K Yamacraw race kicks off at the Lick Creek Trailhead and comes in at almost 33 miles, taking runners through many water crossings and 3,809 feet of elevation gain. The racers finish the 50K by crossing the 100 ft. high pedestrian bridge at Blue Heron.

The race directors encourage racers to reach out to with any questions. Updates, including information about training runs for next year’s race, will be posted on the Yamacraw Facebook page and Instagram page. Training runs will be scheduled for late February or early March.


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