By Mary Sheryl Horine
BOONE, N.C.—The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Institute for Health and Human Services (IHHS) at Appalachian State University announced a new route for the High Country Half Marathon scheduled for Aug. 26 at 7:30 a.m. Race director Mary Sheryl Horine stated, “Our race has a fantastic following of runners but not everyone is thrilled with the uphill finish. This year we’ve changed the route slightly in order to offer a long downhill finish for the last couple of miles!”
As the second race in the High Country Triple Crown series, the High Country Half Marathon is celebrating its seventh annual race. All proceeds benefit Girls on the Run of the High Country, a self-confidence building program for girls in the third through eighth grades. The presenting sponsor for the High Country Half Marathon is Foscoe Rentals.
The race debuted in 2011 and participants have described it as challenging and lots of fun with spectacular scenery. Horine explained, “We celebrate the fact that we’ve got a beautiful environment for running in the summertime. Combine that with dedicated volunteers, cool awards and a great cause and you’ve got a race that people travel to from all over the southeast.”
The race begins at Appalachian’s Kidd Brewer Stadium and follows picturesque roads of Watauga County before ending in Blowing Rock at Davant Field. An awards ceremony following the race will feature overall and age category awards, grandmaster (age 50+) awards, door prizes, food, beer provided by the Blowing Rock Brewing Company and cold brew coffee provided by Hatchet Coffee.
Participants can register online and read a full route description at http://triplecrown.appstate.edu. Early registration fees are available until Aug. 6 for $65. From Aug. 7 until race day, the registration fee is $75. Other races in the High Country Triple Crown Series include The Valle Crucis Cub 7-Miler, which was held over Memorial Day weekend and presented by Mast General Store, and The Knob and The Bonk to be held on September 30 and presented by Modern Toyota and Modern Subaru.
Runners who participate in all three High Country Triple Crown races will be eligible to win $1,500 in cash prizes. Additionally, finishers of the Half Marathon will receive moisture-wicking shirts and finisher’s medals.
For more information and to register for The High Country Half Marathon or The Knob, please visit http://triplecrown.appstate.edu or call 828-262-7557.