The Asheville Running Experience
Greg Duff has been running for a lot of years and when he moved up to the 55-59 age group, he thought the competition would get easier. He thought wrong. The Personal Records (PR’s) he’d hit a year before were history. He’d have to start over, set new goals for a PR.
But that’s okay. The owner of Glory Hound Events likes a good challenge. Especially when that challenge involves personal fitness. And putting together “The Asheville Running Experience” fit that criteria… big time. Now in its third year, The Experience is a series of five separate events taking place over three days in Asheville, Friday, Sept. 22 – 24. There’s something happening for everyone, no matter the fitness level — a half marathon, a 5K, a fun run, a chasing trail 8K and a scavenger hunt.
Depending on the length of the event, participants range in age from toddlers pushed in strollers by running parents to people in their 70s. According to Duff Duff, it’s never too late (or too early) to take part. “Ask yourself some questions. What are you goals? What are your expectations? Get some good running shoes and start slow. And find some local groups to get involved with and to help keep you motivated,” Duff said recently over a cup of coffee.
You can find those groups on meetup.com . You’ll have to create an account, but once you’ve done that, search for running groups in the Asheville area. Or get in touch with one of the local running stores like Jus’ Running, Foot Rx Running or Fleet Feet Sports Asheville, to name a few.
“The running groups for older aged people are particularly social in Asheville. There is one group that meets at Carrier Park to run and then goes out to breakfast,” Duff explains. Running is a great way to stay in shape and meet new people who share a common interest.”
Duff is a former competitive swimmer who migrated to running and triathlon later in life. He has completed virtually every distance from 5K to Ironman. And he’s no stranger to planning athletic events.
That started when Duff was 13, living in Arizona. He was a swimmer and helped put on a parents swim meet with other young people at his school. Jump forward almost 30 years later to 2006, to Asheville.
That’s when Duff first managed the Bele Chere 5K, founded his events company and continued growing it from there. All driven by his passion for a combination of loving Asheville and wanting to stay in shape. “I’m lucky to get to do something that I love doing,” Duff says through a beaming smile.
Friday, September 22
The Happening: Packet Pick Up/Late Registration 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Hi-Wire Big Top,
2 Huntsman Place, Asheville, NC
Saturday, September 23
Location for all of the following:
140 Coxe Avenue, Asheville, NC
Packet Pick Up/Late Registration – 6 a.m. - 7:15 a.m.
for ARX Half Marathon Only
ARX Half Marathon – 7 a.m.
Packet Pick Up/Late Registration for 5K and Fun Run – 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Asheville Brewing Super Hero Fun Run – 5:30 p.m.
Asheville Brewing Super Hero 5K – 6 p.m.
Sunday, September 24
Chasing Trail 8K Packet Pick Up/Late Registration,
Richmond Hill Park – 7 a.m. – 8:30 am.
Chasing Trail 8K – 9 a.m., Richmond Hill Park
Asheville Urban Odyssey – Noon,
Hi Wire Taproom at 197 Hillard Avenue, Asheville, NC
For more information on above events: ashevillerunningexperience.com
Tracy D. Hyorth has been writing about Asheville and Western North Carolina since the late ‘80s and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org