The Pine Mountain Trail Conference will once again sponsor the annual “Master of the Mountain — Run to Kingdom Come” half-marathon Aug. 23, ending in Cumberland at Kingdom Come State Park.
“The half-marathon runners will begin their quest to conquer the mountain at 8 a.m.,” said Harlan County Extension Agent Jeremy Williams. “They will leave from the U.S. 119 trailhead near Whitesburg and run along the Little Shepherd Trail on KY 1679 ending in Cumberland at Kingdom Come State Park.”
Williams said the run is a competitive 13.1 mile race on the scenic crest of Pine Mountain and encounters over 2,000 feet of change in elevation over the course. He added all finishers of the event will receive a medal and race memorabilia. Special recognition will be accorded for the top male and female finisher. First, second and third place finishers, both male and female, in all age groups will receive recognition.
“Free to race entrants will be camping at Wiley’s Last Resort, grilled hot dogs and fixings for lunch after the half marathon, along with music by Pine Mountain Breakdown — mountain music at its best,” said Williams. “Last year’s event had 112 runners who participated.”
Beginning at 3 p.m. Williams said there will be a 6K team run. He said the start location will be the same as the marathon and runners will compete as a team to gather items along the run route and bring as many of those items back to the finish line as they can.
“The team with the fastest time and the most items collected will be declared the winner,” said Williams. “This is going to be a remarkable race experience in Kentucky’s Appalachian highlands. We invite everyone to make plans to join this Pine Mountain Festival for a memorable weekend of camping, racing, music, food and fun. Can you master the mountain? We challenge you to try.”
Registration is $55 and runs through Aug. 22. For more information or to register for the race, you may go to www.runtokingdomcome.com
Nola Sizemore may be reached at 606-573-4510 or on Twitter @Nola_hde