BY MELANIE BUCK –
The Talimena 13.1 Run and Relay is coming up fast and prices for registration will go up soon for this year’s event. The annual half marathon will see runners start off in Janssen Park for this one-of-a-kind half-marathon, running up Mena Street and trekking over the Talimena Scenic Byway to the Queen Wilhelmina State Park at the top of Rich Mountain. This race continues the legacy provided by the Rich Mountain Classic, a popular race in the 80’s and 90’s. On Saturday, March 12, 2016 beginning at 8 a.m. participants each of three categories, individual, 4-person, and 13-person relay team, will make the climb.
The primary purpose of the event is to support programs for physically and mentally challenged adults and children provided by Polk County Developmental Center. PCDC is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that serves the developmentally disabled in Polk County and the surrounding area. The Talimena 13.1 is part of the annual fundraisers that provide funding for PCDC to maintain, expand, provide resources, and serve their clients.
Planning Committee member Dale Powell said before last year’s race, “bringing this race back now has greater purpose as a fund raising event for the Polk County Development Center. It features not only a running challenge, but showcases the beauty of the area from Mena and up the Talimena Drive that overlooks some of the most scenic views of the National Forest, anywhere, and into the State Park.”
Medals will be given to all individual finishers and the first 150 registrations will receive a goody bag and t-shirt. For complete information, visit www.talimenarunandrelay.com.
To register, visit www.RunReg.com/TalimenaRunAndRelay. Current registration pricing is $40 per individual, $120 per 4-person relay team, and $260 per 13-person team. However, on Sunday, February 14, pricing will increase slightly and if not purchased by March 11, they will have one more increase. Racers are encouraged to register soon.
Those interested can also visit their Facebook page, Talimena 13.1. All proceeds from the race will benefit the Polk County Development Center.