Runners from across the mountains and Southeast are coming to Cherokee on Saturday, Sept. 29 for the inaugural Cherokee Harvest Half Marathon & 5K. The event is presented by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and benefits the Madison Hornbuckle Children’s Cancer Foundationund.
Over 325 runners are registered for the two races, which will take them on a scenic tour of Cherokee. Twelve of the half marathon’s thirteen miles are flat, making this one of the fastest half marathon courses in the mountains.
Cherokee culture will be on full display with the traditional Morning Song to send off the runners at the start, drummers at key points on the course, and the Cherokee court presenting finisher medals and awards after the race. In addition to receiving a long-sleeve technical race shirt and finisher medallion of handmade Cherokee stamped pottery, all runners will be treated to a post-race meal of Three Sisters Stew and Bean Bread Dumplings prepared by Harrah’s Cherokee’s culinary department and using products grown by the Cherokee Choices program.
Online registration for both races continues through Thursday, Sept. 27 with onsite registration and packet pickup on Friday and Saturday at the Acquoni Events Center in Cherokee. Race information and the link to registration can be found at www.CherokeeHarvestHalf.com.
Those traveling in Cherokee on race morning may experience race related delays along Acquoni Road, Big Cove Road, Highway 441, Whitewater Road, Casino Drive and Highway 19 from the casino to downtown until approximately 11a.m. In addition, the outer lanes of Highway 19 from the casino to Tsali Boulevard will be reserved for runners. Community members are encouraged to watch the race and cheer on the runners.
– Cherokee Harvest Half Marathon committee