Nestled in the mountains of Southwest Virginia, Hungry Mother State Park offers a challenging network of trails. The Annual Hungry Mother 25K & 50K hosted by The Chamber of Commerce of Smyth County, Inc. uses these trails to offer a trail running course with over 3,500 feet of elevation gain per lap! The 50K is two laps of a 15.6-mile course which includes climbing the notorious Molly’s Knob summit twice.
Ninety-six people from all over the United State have registered for the 2019 race on Saturday, April 13th, which will mark the third year of the event. 50% of the participants are from Virginia, 27% from North Carolina, and 9% are from Tennessee. Other states represented by this year’s runners include Montana, Delaware, Florida, South Carolina, and Ohio.
Ultimately, the race is a fundraiser for Imagination Library of Smyth County which is administered by the Smyth County Chamber of Commerce. This program sends a free book each month to registered children from birth to five years old within the county! The race is the biggest annual fundraiser for the program which has an annual operating cost of around $12,000. In 2018, the Hungry Mother 25K & 50K raised over $3,000!
To help the participants complete this daunting course, there are three aid stations along the way with snacks favored among runners such as peeled potatoes, flat coke, and peanut butter sandwiches. It takes over thirty volunteers to help staff these aid stations and to fill other crucial support roles which span over twelve hours. Volunteers have come from community members as well as organizations such as The Rotary Club of Marion, Friends of Hungry Mother State Park, and the Smyth County Chamber Board of Directors.
The staff at Hungry Mother State Park works tirelessly with the Chamber and goes above and beyond every year to ensure that the race goes as smoothly and as safely as possible. The Smyth County Chamber takes pride in using local organizations as sponsors and partners for their events, and this race is no exception. We appreciate the support of the following local business: The Bank of Marion, The Town of Marion, Song of the Mountains, Virginia State Parks, Richardson Ambulance, Pepsi Bottling Company, Sister’s Café, Virginia is For Lovers, Visit Southwest Virginia. Other national sponsors include Altra Running Shoes, Hammer Nutrition, Pjur Active, Savage Apparel Company, and DeFeet International.
Please click HERE for more information about the Hungry Mother 25K & 50K, including volunteering or registering to run.