The Triple Crown of Running is more than a competition.
“We’re not just looking for elite runners,” said Kelly Forster of Blount County Maryville Alcoa Parks and Recreation. “We’re looking to give opportunities for the families of all fitness levels, whether they run or they walk.
Forster said runners of all ages participate in the events, including many young children. She said the events are all 5K races with a one-mile option.
Fitness is the main cause but many runners are also motivated by prizes and cash awards. Forster said even those who complete the one-mile option can registere and qualify for door prizes.
The door prizes have a minimum value of $100 and many prizes include overnight stays and gift cards. Runners do not have to participate in all three events to qualify for the drawing.
For larger cash awards, runners must compete in all three 5K races. Their cumulative times are tallied after the final race in December.
“We have really good area runners who come from all over East Tennessee to compete for the cash prizes,” said Forster, who coordinates the run for Parks and Rec.
The second in the series, the Scholars Run, took place Aug. 14, and was organized by the Foothills Striders, a hiking, running and biking club. The event drew a record crowd of 410 runners and took place on the Maryville College Campus.
Forster said the Foothills Striders club has organized the Scholars run for over 30 years.
Twelve years ago, she said they partnered with Foothills Striders to incorporate their event with the Spring Sprint in April and the Reindeer Run in December to create the Triple Crown.
The Reindeer Run will take place on Dec. 5 and registration takes place in the parking garage on Church St. across from Ruby Tuesday. The course will take runners through downtown Maryville and Alcoa.
For more information about the Reindeer Run or other wellness programs, visit their website at www.parksrec.com. Sponsor for the Triple Crown of Running is Blount Memorial Hospital.