EKY RACERS BRINGS NEW RUNNING SERIES TO EASTERN KENTUCKY

By: Pat Riley


Local athlete and businessman Brent Graden has teamed up with other local
businesses to promote a new company in the area called EKY RACERS.
   
"The purpose of EKY RACERS is to bring professional quality races to the area of Eastern Kentucky" said Brent Graden, local businessman and fellow marathoner, ultra marathoner and Ironman. "We want to provide exciting races that not only professional athletes can attend and enjoy but also first
time runners and triathletes can experience as well.  The courses will be flat and fast, professionally timed, and have all the excitement of big-time races
in larger cities.  We want people to experience a great event no matter your level of experience.  Everybody participates and everyone has fun.  And not
only will we be bringing fun events to the area, but this unofficial club will help bring much-needed funding and attention to our Floyd County Animal
Shelter.  We want to build a brand new state-of-the-art animal shelter.  All profits will go towards this very worthy cause.  This will be the main mission
of EKY RACERS … to serve the local community."
   
EKY RACERS has announced three races for the 2014 season.  The first race will be THE ULTIMATE 5K on Saturday, May 3rd, 2104 starting at 8:00am. 
Packet pick-up will be the Friday before from 6-8pm and include a free pasta dinner.  The race itself will have the start and finish line near Archer Clinic in
Prestonsburg, Kentucky and will consist of a flat and fast "out and back" course with very little altitude gain or loss.  "THE ULTIMATE 5K will be one of the most 5K races in America" says race director Brent Graden. "As you know, there are many different themed 5K races throughout the world … Zombie 5K …. Mud
Run 5K … Color Run 5K … Costume 5K …. well, what if we just combined them all into one?  That's how you get THE ULTIMATE 5K.  It is going to be a jam
packed course with a lot of 'obstacles" to overcome … you really don't know what is going to come around the corner until you get there.  It should make
for a very fun run and a very fun day.  And anytime a new type of fun race comes up, we will probably add it to THE ULTIMATE 5K.  It should be a blast."
The ULTIMATE 5K will consist of a 5K run, 5K walk, and a kids fun run.  There will be no time limit on the event.  All participants will receive a free night-before pasta dinner plus a technical race shirt and a finishers medal to all who complete the course.  Entry fees are as follows: "early bird entry fee" will be $15 if you sign up by 4/1/14, "regular sign up fee" will be $20 if you sign up by 5/1/14, and "day of race" sign up will be $25 if you sign up on race day 5/3/14 by 7:45am. You must be age 9 or older to enter and in overall good physical health.  Trophies will be awarded by age group and gender for top 3 finishers.
   
The second race will be THE DEWEY LAKE TRIATHLON.  This event will be held on Saturday, June 21st at 8:00am.  The start, finish and transition area will be
located close to the spill way dam area near Dewey Lake.  It is an Olympic triathlon course that will consist of a half mile swim, a 30 mile bike, and a 6.2 mile run.  The triathlon is open to athletes age 18 or older and are physically fit to complete it.  The swim will be located at the dam spillway, the bike route will be a loop around the lake and though downtown Prestonsburg and then back to the transition area, then the run part will be an "out and back course" on old route 321 and finally back to the finish line.  The course will be mostly closed to traffic and will have race officials on the course not only for safety but for course support such as first aid and nutrition.  "We expect to grow this event and celebrate our local natural beauty.  If anyone has
experienced that drive around Dewey Lake, you know what we are talking about.  We have great and beautiful resources and we intend to use them." says Brent Graden. The race itself will be a single entry race and not a relay.  Wetsuits or speedsuits are allowed so long as there are approved by the same guidelines as IRONMAN and can only wear them in race day water temperatures no higher than 76.1 degrees Fahrenheit.  All other swim and bike guidelines will also follow the guidelines set forth by traditional IRONMAN guidelines too.  There will be a complete rules and guideline mandatory meeting at the pasta and packet pick-up date.   Also on Saturday immediately following the triathlon will be a kids mini Dewey Lake Triathlon. This version will be open to kids age 11 to 17 and must have written permission for participation.  The stages will consist of a 150 yard swim, a 6 mile bike, and a 1 mile run. At the conclusion of the race, all athletes and spectators will be treated to a full picnic spread at the local Dewey Lake Shelter. 
   
All participants will receive a free night-before pasta dinner plus a technical race shirt and a finishers medal to all who complete the course.  Entry fees are as follows: "early bird entry fee" will be $30 if you sign up by 5/1/14, "regular sign up fee" will be $40 if you sign up by 6/19/14, and "day of race" sign up will be $50 if you sign up on race day  6/21/14 by 7:45am.  You must be age 11 or older to enter and in overall good physical health.   Trophies will be awarded by age group and gender for top 3 finishers.  The course will have athlete support throughout the entire course.
   
The third race will be THE EASTERN KENTUCKY MARATHON.  This event will be held on Saturday, 9/6/14 at 8:00am.  Packet pick-up will be the Friday before from 6-8pm and include a free pasta dinner.  The race itself will have the start and finish line near Archer Clinic in Prestonsburg, Kentucky and will consist of a flat and fast "out and back" course with very little altitude gain or loss.  It will consist of a full marathon (26.2 miles), a half marathon (13.1 miles) and a 10K run or walk (6.2 miles).  There will be no time limit on the races except for the full marathon which will have a six and a half hour limit.  At this point the course will open itself up to traffic.  "This event will be the crowning jewel of the race series" says Brent Graden " We want to become one of the best races in Kentucky for marathons.  We are in the process of certifying the course with the USTAF (United States Track and Field) in order for it to be eligible for qualifying for the Boston Marathon.  A "BQ" course is a great thing!  Also, we will be offering the WORLD'S LARGEST MEDALS to all who
complete the full marathon.  Currently, the Little Rock Marathon holds the title with a finisher's medal coming in at 10 inches across and weighing over 3 lbs.  We want to beat that and we will."  All participants will receive a free night-before  pasta dinner plus a technical race shirt and a finishers medal to all who complete the course.  Full Marathon entry fees are as follows: "early bird entry fee" will be $80 if you sign up by 7/1/14, "regular sign up fee" will be $90 if you sign up by 9/1/14, and "day of race" sign up will be $100 if you sign up on race day 9/6/14 by 7:45am. You must be age 17 or older to enter and in overall good physical health.  Trophies will be awarded by age group and gender for top 3 finishers. Half marathon entry fees are as follows: "early bird entry fee" will be $40 if you sign up by 7/1/14, "regular sign up fee" will be $50 if you sign up by 9/1/14, and "day of race" sign up will be $60 if you sign up on race day 9/6/14 by 7:45am. You must be age 17 or older to enter and in overall good physical health.  Trophies will be awarded by age group and gender for top 3 finishers. 10K race entry fees are as follows: "early bird entry fee" will be $20 if you sign up by 7/1/14, "regular sign up fee" will be $25 if you sign up by 9/1/14, and "day of race" sign up will be $30 if you sign up on race day 9/6/14 by 7:45am. You must be age 11 or older to enter and in overall good physical health.  Trophies will be awarded by age group and gender for top 3 finishers.
   
"Overall, I think everyone is seeing everyone get outside and doing more things … getting out and exercising and being healthy.  This is a great thing and we want to do our part to put on some exciting events.  If you have never been to a race like this … the energy is incredible … it is like being at a rock concert and you are exercising at the same time.  These events are also great to be a spectator at too.  We encourage you to come out and cheer them on and support you local athlete or friend or family member.  We will take care of you too.  So come on out to all the great local races whether it is our or some other local charity. The main point is to get outside and move."
   
All races are now eligible to join and sign up.  Please visit tristateracer.com and click on the "calendar" for the dates of the races.  Any questions? Contact race director Brent Graden at brentgraden@hotmail.com or 606-226-9353.  Also, please contact Brent Graden about sponsorship either for the races directly or for the building project for the Floyd County Animal Shelter.  

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