Runners from across Western North Carolina and the Southeast will be gathering at Western Carolina University to participate in the eighth annual Valley of the Lilies Half Marathon and 5K on Saturday, April 7.
The half marathon will begin at 8 a.m. and take runners on a scenic 13.1-mile journey through the WCU campus and along the Tuckaseigee River. The 5K (3.1-mile) run/walk will start at 8:15 a.m. Title sponsor for the races is the engineering firm Civil Design Concepts based in Asheville.
“We have a new half marathon course this year that has been approved by the N.C. Department of Transportation due to construction preventing us from turning runners left at the old entrance to campus,” said Shauna Sage, WCU’s director of campus recreation and wellness. “The course is much flatter than last year, but still has the infamous ‘Catamount Climb’ at mile 11 and miles of running along the Tuckaseigee River.”
Online registration for the half marathon and 5K is available at runsignup.com. Fees are $40 for the half marathon and $20 for the 5K through Friday, March 9. Beginning Saturday, March 10, the fees increase to $60 for the half marathon and $25 for the 5K. Online registration will close at 4 p.m. Friday, April 6, but in-person registration at WCU’s Campus Recreation Center will be available at $80 for the half marathon and $30 for the 5K from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. on race day.
Packet pickup will be held in Room 204 of WCU’s Health and Human Sciences Building from 4 to 8 p.m. on both Thursday, April 5, and Friday, April 6. Packet pickup will be available on race day from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. at the Campus Recreation Center.
Registrants for both races will receive a short-sleeve technical shirt and a Clif Whey Protein Bar.
Race hosts are WCU’s School of Health Sciences and Department of Campus Recreation and Wellness. Proceeds will be used to assist WCU students with professional development and travel to conferences. Other sponsors are Carole Lilly Massage, REI, the Smoky Mountain News, David S. McGuire DDS and Clif Bar.