Cumberland Gap Ridge Trail Marathon set

By Kelsey Gerhardt kgerhardt@civitasmedia.com

February 2, 2014

As the weather warms up for the weekend, people are eager to get out and enjoy nature. A group of local runners has been looking forward to getting out of the deep freeze by planning a marathon for the summer.

The Cumberland Gap Ridge Trail Marathon will be held throughout the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park on June 7.

Directors Tracy Brooks, Deidre Donahue and Jeremy Donahue have mapped out a 26.2 mile path that stretches across Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.

“The three of us, as well as many of our local running friends, have been running the trails in the National Park for several years now and we have always been amazed by the beauty that we are surrounded by on each and every run,” said Brooks.

Runners will find a challenging 1,500 foot ascent during the first three miles and pass by several local landmarks including the Pinnacle, Hensley Settlement and the Iron Furnace.

“We would love to get runners here from all over the country so that they can also be introduced to what we are so fortunate to have right here in our backyard,” said Brooks.

Registration fees are currently $75 until Feb. 28. Prices will increase until registration ends on June 2.

Participant fees will benefit the Friends of the Cumberland Gap National Park, the Lincoln Memorial University Cross Country Team and the Cumberland Gap Hilltoppers Running Club.

If you are interested in signing up for the marathon, registration is taking place online at cugapmarathon.weebly.com or by searching for Cumberland Gap Ridge Trail Marathon on Facebook.

Kelsey Gerhardt may be reached at 606-302-9093 or on Twitter @kgerhardtmbdn.