Approximately 600 trail runners expected in McCreary County this weekend
By Eugenia Jones
As the Yamacraw Trail Runs kick off this weekend, residents and local businesses can expect to see an influx of trail runners throughout the county. The annual event, headquartered out of Stearns and featuring 50K, 25K, 10K, and Kids Races, begins on Saturday (May 22) at 7:30 a.m. at the Lick Creek Trail head as 50K racers begin their journey through 33.1 miles of the Daniel Boone National Forest and Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. With a modest route elevation gain of 3,809 feet, the Yamacraw 50K offers some challenging climbs as it takes participants through breathtakingly beautiful scenery. There is an 11 hour cutoff time for the 50K race.
The 25K race is also scheduled for Saturday with the 10K and Kids Races taking place on Sunday.
Prize money for winners of the 50K race includes $1,000 for the first place male and female finishers, $500 for the second place male and female finishers, and $250 for the third place male and female finishers. All three races (50/25/10K) are sold out with approximately six hundred racers expected to compete. Portions of the proceeds from the event will benefit the National Park Foundation and National Forest Foundation.
Strict COVID-19 guidelines and precautions are in place for participation in the races. High risk individuals are advised not to attend the event including individuals with underlying medical conditions and individuals aged 60+ years with underlying health conditions.
The Yamacraw Trail Runs are organized by race directors Brian and Shelley Gajus of Ultranaut Running. Ultranaut Running is a small, grass-roots organization located in Knoxville, TN dedicated to the sport of trail running. According to their website, the organization’s mission is to promote participation in outdoor activities for a healthy lifestyle, advocate for the value of national/regional parks and trail systems, and share their commitment to environmental stewardship.