WILLIAMSON – The 4th Annual Coal Dust Run held in downtown Williamson was once again a huge success.
Nearly 400 runners took part in the Saturday evening event which started at the historic Coal House on Second Avenue. The route ran through downtown streets and under the walking underpass that connects Third and Fourth Avenue. The walkway was decorated like a coal mine by the Tug Valley Road Runner Club (TVRRC).
The race was put on by the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce (TVCC) and all of the proceeds of the race are put toward promoting tourism, according to Natalie (Young) Taylor, Director of the Chamber.
“We were overwhelmed at the success of the event,” Taylor said. “This was the best one yet. We plan to have it again next year.”
Alexis Batausa, President of the TVRRC, was pleased with the race and the overall event.
“For one thing, I believe we have seen the change right in front of us for the past four years now ever since we started these monthly races. The Coal Dust Run is unique in its own way by pulling culture, communities, and the path of being healthy and having an experience so worth it that you want to keep going and inspiring,” Batausa said.
“Saturday night was pretty wonderful in the town of Williamson! An estimated 400 people showed up to have fun and support the culture we embrace,” Batausa added.
“The Tug Valley Road Runners Club has stepped up each and every time to put on quality, fantastic races and it shows how strong and resilient this community is behind it all through the behind-the-scenes and on race day,” Batausa stressed.
Batausa thanked a number of people who helped get the race route ready and picked up litter along the way. He also thanked the Williamson Fire Department, Williamson Police Department, Mingo County Sheriff’s Department, Pike County Sheriff’s Department and all of the sponsors. He also thanked the Belfry High Volleyball team and Amanda Lovern, the City of Williamson and everyone else involved.
“I am personally thankful for my Tug Valley Road Runners for working all week while I was gone and showing their growth in the community we live in. We are the living example that people look up to us to keep things positive no matter what the situation because hope is always there to believe in,” Batausa added.
“If you’re interested in participating or volunteering your time, please let us know and be a part of something worth your time,” he said.
The TVRRC will hold the annual Frank O’Brien 5K, 10K, and one Mile Walk at the Williamson Fieldhouse at 9 a.m. Saturday morning as part of the King Coal Festival.
(Kyle Lovern is the Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)