Over 600 runners from across the mountains and Southeast are expected in Cherokee on Saturday, Oct. 19 for the second Cherokee Harvest Half Marathon & 5K. The event is presented by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and benefits the Madison Hornbuckle Children’s Cancer Foundation. Last year, the event attracted 415 runners and raised over $10,000 to serve families of children with cancer that live in Jackson, Swain, Cherokee, Graham and Cherokee counties in Western North Carolina.
Both the half marathon and 5K courses begin and end at the Acquoni Events Center and offer runners a scenic tour of many of the communities in Cherokee. Twelve of the half marathon’s thirteen miles are flat, making this one of the fastest half marathon courses in the mountains. The 5K has a rectangular course encompassing central Cherokee and is also very flat.
In addition to receiving a long-sleeve technical race shirt and finisher medallion from local artist Christy Long, all runners will be treated to a post-race meal of a Tuscan white bean chili, feta and squash herb wrap as well as sweet potato brownies prepared by Harrah’s Cherokee’s culinary department and using products grown by the Cherokee Choices Healthy Roots Program.
Online registration for both races continues through Thursday, Oct. 17 with onsite registration and packet pickup on Friday and Saturday at the Acquoni Events Center in Cherokee. Race information and the link to registration can be found at www.CherokeeHarvestHalf.com.
Those traveling in Cherokee on race morning may experience race related detours and delays along the race course. Acquoni Road (7:45-11:30 AM), Big Cove Road (7:45-9:00 AM), and Whitewater Road (8:30-10:15 AM) will all be closed to traffic and Casino Drive and Highway 19 from the casino to downtown will also have runner traffic. If you have to travel during these hours, please be aware of the runners and police, fire and EMS along the course and use extreme caution. If you don’t have to drive, community members are encouraged to watch the race and cheer on the runners.
– Glory Hound Events