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Student Activities will be hosting its first race in the Liberty Mountain Trail Series bright and early the morning of Saturday Oct. 9 at Camp Hydeaway.
The Deep Hollow Half-Marathon and 5k will give students, faculty, staff and members of the community the ability to test their endurance as they run the hills of the Liberty Mountain Trail System.
Those doing the half-marathon will begin at 8 a.m. and 5k runners will start 15 minutes later. The half-marathon is 13.1 miles long and covers the entire Liberty Mountain Trail System property. Runners will do a 3.1 mile loop followed by a 10 mile loop around the perimeter of the property.
The 5k serves to compliment the half-marathon and is 3.1 miles. Runners doing this race will take a trail road called Falwell Road down to the Snowflex Centre. After replenishing themselves at an aid station, runners will return following the same path.
Joshua Yeoman, the associate director of Student Activities, says that having the option of two routes gives more runners the chance to experience marathon running.
“The idea with the half marathon is to get a lot of people out to the event to see what it’s like. They may not be ready to run a half marathon, but they can run a 5k. So it’s more motivation for them to next year run the half-marathon,” Yeoman said.
Yeoman says that the race always brings out a very diverse group of runners, ranging in all levels of experience.
“It’s not usually your stereotypical runners who you imagine would be running something like this. It’s really different types of people,” Yeoman said. “The similarity between everyone is that they’re up for an extreme challenge or experience which this race definitely provides.”
Sophomore Jessica Graham has been running for two years, but this will be her first trail run experience.
“I thought it would be a nice starter race,” Graham said. “A few of my friends ran last year and encouraged me to do it.”
Senior Petra Gerber views the race as training for a bigger marathon she is doing with the Marine Corps later this month. As an experienced trail runner, she says she enjoys the unique experience that it provides.
“It’s less about getting a personal record and more about finishing and making friends along the way,” Gerber said. “Unless you’re the top runner, it’s more about the experience and less about the competition, and that is why I love trail running more than any other type of racing.”
The race is open to anyone who wants to participate. Liberty students, faculty and staff receive a discounted price when they register. The half-marathon costs $20 for students who register before Oct. 9, and $25 if they register on race day. Community members can register for the half-marathon for $30 before Oct. 16 and $40 on race day. The 5k costs $10 for students in advance and $15 on race day. For the general public, the 5k icosts $15 before Oct. 16 and $20 on race day.
An award ceremony will follow the race where awards will be given to the top three male and female overall winners, top three males and females in each age group, and the top male and female overall winners. Door prizes will also be handed out.
The Deep Hollow Half-Marathon and 5k started in October 2007 and got its name from a trail named Deep Hollow that used to be in Camp Hydeaway. The race soon became a part of The Liberty Mountain Trail series, which features four races throughout the year.
For more information about the race or to register, go to the Deep Hollow Half-Marathon and 5k Facebook page or visit the Student Activities website.
ABRAHAM is a feature reporter.