A 5K race will traverse the front nine holes of the Old Edwards Club in Highlands on Saturday, Sept. 11, serving up a tranquil setting and a twist on the typical 5K route through town streets.
“Doing the PAR 5K on the Old Edwards Club golf course gives the ‘weekend warrior’ a chance to conquer hills of over 4,000 feet in elevation,” said Dave Linn, race organizer. “Everyone can run the street, but how many run the golf paths that roll up and down the mountain side?”
Linn hopes the race will become an annual staple and the new “must do” 5K in WNC.
Linn worked with the golf course to reassure them runners would stick to the paths and not damage the fairways.
Linn, an avid athlete, participates in races up and down the East Coast. He tapped into his network of race friends through Facebook to recruit runners. Rooms in the Old Edwards Inn sold out early due to the influx of out-of-town participants registering for the race and began spilling over to other local hotels.
“Many of the racers saw this as a chance to leave the big city and enjoy the cool Blue Ridge Mountain air for the weekend,” Linn said.
For Linn, who is typically in the starting line-up of races, cheering others on from the sidelines as the race organizer will be a change of pace.
“Boy, is it hard to sit back and not race in a race that you helped design and know every curve and straightaway,” Linn said.
Linn said support from the Highlands community has been very strong. Prizes were donated by restaurants and merchants who hope to see the race bring people to town. Each year a different charity will be chosen to receive the proceeds of the race. This year it is the Highlands Literary Council.
A Southern breakfast of buttermilk pancakes, applewood smoked bacon, scrambled eggsand local stone ground grits follow the race and are included in the registration fee. The breakfast will be held at the Old Edwards Club and is open to the public from 8 to 11 a.m. to raise money for the literary council.