Shoes have been laced, paddles primed, and the tires inflated to their desirable pressure settings. That’s right folks; it’s that time of the year again when families, friends, and pleasantly raucous cheering squads line up along the streets of Marlinton, WV to root their favorite team or individual across the finish line. Whether the contestants have the eye of the tiger, or are just out to leisurely enjoy the day’s proceedings, the 27th Annual Great Greenbrier River Race is a popular event that participants and bystanders of all ages and desires can look forward to attending.
Slated to begin at 11am, Saturday, April 27th, the race offers something for everyone. Over the years, the race has steadily built a following of return contestants, many of whom try to improve on their timed race legs and/or defend their race title from the previous year. You can easily spot the die-hards, many of which sport team jerseys, sponsorships, and the highest end equipment available.
The Great Greenbrier River Race consists of three legs: a 3-mile run, a 4-mile float, and a 10-mile bike ride.
Then there is the much larger contingency of people, those who are just happy to be outside away from their normal day to day, and even more ecstatic when they cross that final tape. Equipment used by these slightly less serious contestants may not be the greatest, and on occasion, the bikes and boats they use have been borrowed from friends or neighbors only days before, or even manufactured from a period long ago when Moby Dick was still a minnow. Time constraints and competiveness may still be on this latter group of racer’s minds, yet these parameters hardly determines the amount of fun and comradery obtained from being part of this well organized 17-mile mini triathlon along the beautiful Greenbrier River.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a spring chicken, or a little long in the tooth, age doesn’t define happiness, and nor should it factor in your decision to participate in the race.
The Great Greenbrier River Race consists of three legs: a 3-mile run, a 4-mile float, and a 10-mile bike ride. During normal water levels, this portion of the Greenbrier River is easily navigable, void of any major rapids or whitewater, and a perfect family location for a day of getting wet. The bike and run portion of the race will occur on portions of the Greenbrier River Trail. This popular 77-mile long Rails to Trails project parallels the longest undammed river east of the Mississippi, and is well used by recreationalists of all types.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a spring chicken, or a little long in the tooth, age doesn’t define happiness, and nor should it factor in your decision to participate in the race. Prizes will be awarded to solo and team members, as well as different age groups. There is even a “masters” category for all participants over the age of 50, as well as a division for youth members under 16. Meals will be provided to all participants, with the cost of the provided meal included in each person’s entry fee.
Live entertainment, such as a performance by the band Mixed Nuts, is scheduled throughout the day’s events. For those wishing to stay in the area after the conclusion of the race, the Pocahontas County Opera House will be featuring an evening event with the band Lone Raven. Tickets to the show are $8 a piece, with the show slated to begin at 7:30pm.
Live entertainment, such as a performance by the band Mixed Nuts, is scheduled throughout the day’s events.
In the case of high water, the paddle portion of the race will be cancelled, and the altered race schedule will be a run/bike/run race event. All contestants must pre-register before 10 am the morning of race day, and are required to attend the pre-race meeting at 10:30am. For more information, visit greenbrierrivertrail.com ,pocahontascountywv.com, or call Brenda Cochran at 304-456-3091. As of press time, there is already close to 450 contestants pre-registered for the event!
– Craig Miller, LBSPY 31 (April 22-May 6)