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On your mark, get set, go… Music & Miles Half Marathon set to run in Elizabethton May 8

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
Monday morning was a special day for Elizabethton and Carter County as representatives of The Goose Chase, Carter County Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Elizabethton, Elizabethton Parks and Recreation, and Elizabethton Federal Savings Bank gathered to officially announce that the Music & Miles Half Marathon was coming to Elizabethton on May 8, 2021.

The announcement came at the Chamber of Commerce office in downtown Elizabethton.

The Music & Miles Half Marathon is sponsored by Elizabethton Federal Savings Bank will begin at 8:30 am at the Covered Bridge Park with the full half and team relays.

“Elizabethton Federal is so proud to be able to sponsor this great event,” said Teri Reach, President and Chief Executive Officer of Elizabethton Federal Savings Bank.

“We have tried to get involved with more and more things. We think this is going to be a fabulous opportunity. We have been here since 1937 and we are just excited to be more and more involved with Elizabethton and we look forward to what this has to offer. Let’s just have a fabulous time with this.”

According to a release from The Goose Chase, this first annual half marathon is part of two different running series in the local region – the Beast Series and a new series by the Goose Chase coined “The Trifecta” which contains two other half marathons offered by The Goose Chase in the Bluegrass Half Marathon and the Haunted Half Marathon.

Adding to the competition of the race, there will be music of all genres spread across the course with in-person singers, DJs, bands or perhaps just a stereo system.

“The Music & Miles Half Marathon is a perfect fit for our First Friday events that will be launching the weekend of May 8th,” said Main Street Director Courtney Washburn.

Whether one wants to run the entire 13.1 miles or be a part of a relay team, the event promises to be perfect for everyone.

Karen Hubbs who is the President and the Founder of The Goose Chase said, “The Tri-Cities needed a spring half marathon. With the success of our fall races – the Bluegrass Half and the Haunted Half Marathon, we felt like it was time for us to create a spring half, and what better way than to bring music to the streets of Elizabethton.

“With all that the event industry and running community has faced over the past year, we are excited to get back out there and celebrate.”

Hubbs went on to add that usually during half marathons there is a very good number of participants that come out as shown by the Turkey Trot half marathon that The Goose Chase sponsors each Thanksgiving in Johnson City.

“We have had anywhere from 600 to over 1,000 people for the Haunted Half Marathon,” said Hubbs. “We don’t know exactly where we are going to land especially being the first year and we have two months to pull this off.

“But we feel like that we are going to have 600 to 700 I hope but I don’t know for sure. Usually, on average, you have 430ish that do the whole half marathon and then your relay teams so your numbers can really bounce up if you have a lot of relay teams.

“We offer a two-person and a four-person so I think that we will have a good turnout,” Hubbs continued. “The theme is fun that people might just want to come out and enjoy themselves.”

An example of where these marathon runners come from for races such as the Turkey Trot include Canada, Europe, and all over the United States so these events are not just a half marathon or relay but a tourism draw to display the beauty that exists here in East Tennessee.

The event will allow merchants in the downtown area to open up on Saturday and give visitors to the community an opportunity to experience some of the great shopping the downtown area has to offer.

These visitors will also be hungry so all restaurants are encouraged to plan on opening their doors early to take advantage of some new revenue coming into the area.

“So it’s not just about the runner – it’s about their whole family coming down, everybody is going to be hungry when they are done, everybody needs to buy gas, and everybody will want to stop in our shops,” said Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joy McCray.

“So definitely making an opportunity to being open the morning of the race is important. Also the night before for our very first First Friday that is being hosted downtown by Main Street – that’s a great opportunity to send in folks too.

“We strategically planned to hand the packages out to the runners in the chamber building on purpose. We are guaranteed to see all kinds of people come in and see what the downtown has to offer. We want them to come in and see what we have to offer and give our town a chance.”

McCray said that deciding to host the Music & Miles Half Marathon was hands down an easy decision.

“This is an easy one for us because last year we saw a lot of people come in and great revenue from the bicycle race which is coming back in June,” stated McCray. “This race is something that having a foot race and having a lot of local people come in and people from outside of town as well it’s a great opportunity for us to make a great first impression.”