Marathon to celebrate 20th year

January 26, 2019

Members of the Tug Valley Road Runners Club are currently planning for the 20th annual Hatfield-McCoy Marathon, which will be held Saturday, June 8.

Alexis Batausa, the president of the TVRRC and a local racing enthusiast, said he expects more than 1,000 runners to sign up for one of the races offered. Those races include the full marathon (26.2 miles), two half-marathons (13.1 miles each), a double-half marathon and a 5K (3.1 miles).

The first marathon, organized by David Hatfield, the founder and first president of the TVRRC, attracted about 40 runners. The marathon, which has been featured in Runners World magazine, has grown through the years and attracts runners from across the United States and even some foreign countries.

The local marathon was selected as one of the 10 Best Marathons in the southern part of the U.S. by the national magazine, according to Batausa.

“This is really great for the local economy,” Batausa said.

The challenging race starts at Food City in South Williamson on U.S. 119 and turns on State Route 319 and runs by some of the historic Hatfield McCoy Feud sites. One challenging hill is Blackberry Mountain, which is well known to participants who return for the marathon. The finish line ends in Williamson, but not before crossing the Tug River into Matewan, running down Rt. 49 and back across the river into rural Kentucky on State Route 292 and eventually back into downtown Williamson. The routes are well marked.

The first half-marathon ends in Matewan, and the second ends in Williamson. The 5K race is in the Williamson-South Williamson community.

“We cannot pull off a successful event without the help of our sponsors,” Batausa said, adding that the TVRRC is currently looking for sponsors.

Something else that is needed is volunteers for water stops or to help at the start and finish lines. Batausa said that local fire departments and other groups have always stepped up to help out.

The local running club is a nonprofit organization. The TVRRC has several events throughout the year, and money is raised for different nonprofit organizations.

For more information on becoming a sponsor or to volunteer, contact Batausa at 304-235-3400 or by e-mail at alexisbatausa@gmail.com. The group also has a Facebook page.

Kyle Lovern is editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at 304-236-3526 or via e-mail at klovern@HDMediaLLC.com

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