Two local teams compete in 208-mile Blue Ridge Relay
by Tanya Chilton Staff Reporter
Two local Mount Airy teams, Granite City Group and Surry Barn Runners, joined with about 150 teams in the ninth annual Blue Ridge Relay over the weekend.
The Granite City Group entered nine runners and the Surry Barn Runners entered 12. Mount Airy Chief of Police Dale Watson ran in the race.
According to www.blueridgerelay.com, the relay was named the second best road race in the 2010 “Best Of” edition of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine. The 208-mile race is one of the longest running relay races in the United States.
More than 1,500 runners competed and each team was composed of four to 12 runners. The relay runs through North Carolina’s Blue Ridge and Black Mountains.
Individual relay members ran three legs each of varying length and difficulty. Each covered 16.6 miles average.
The course began in Grayson Highlands State Park in Grayson County, Va., near Mount Rogers, which is the highest peak of Virginia.
It wound through Jefferson, West Jefferson, Todd, Boone, Blowing Rock, Linville, Newland, Plumtree, Spruce Pine, Bakersville, Burnsville and Barnardsville.
Saturday’s finish was in downtown Asheville. Final results were unavailable at presstime.
The course record going into this year’s race was held by the Asheville Running Collective and was set in 2011. It is 20 hours and 24 minutes (5:53 per mile pace).
According to an article on www.mountaintimes.com, race director, Ken Sevensky, said,“We have been amazed at the number of teams that return to run the Blue Ridge Relay year after year. We’re hosting several teams that have runners who have competed all eight years and many teams that have run a majority of the years — that’s a huge compliment.”
More information may be found at www.blueridgerelay.com
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