A record number of runners have already registered for the 14th annual Hatfield and McCoy Marathon which is scheduled for this Saturday.
According to race organizer and promoter David Hatfield, 455 participants had pre-registered as of Monday. More entries are expected to come in this week and some runners will likely register on Friday evening or even early Saturday morning. There were 443 runners last year.
“This could be the largest field of runner in the history of the marathon,” Hatfield said.
At this point runners from 38 different states have signed up for either the full- marathon or the half marathon. There are also three from Canada.
Hatfield said his Tug Valley Road Runners Club web-site has received 5,800 hits since May 8. Much of this new interest is likely because of the recent publicity the area has received with last weekend’s mini-series about the famous feud between the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s. This past Saturday a new 2-hour documentary also aired on the History channel.
National and state media have already been in the area to do segments about the History Channel’s series and how the attention can help with tourism and the local economy. The annual marathon brings in runners and their families every June.
The annual Hatfield-McCoy Marathon has something for everyone, from a 26.2 mile marathon or the 13.1 mile half marathon, to the kid's “Once around the block mini marathon.”
The growing event will be held Saturday, June 9 starting at 7:00 a.m. As in the past the race begins at Food City Goody, Ky. and will run the scenic course through Pike County and Mingo County.
“In the past nine years we have had runners from all across the United States and around the world participate,” said Hatfield, who is also president of the Tug Valley Roadrunners Club (TVRRC). “We expect 500 runners this year.”
There will be a pasta dinner available on Friday, June 8 at 6:00 p.m. at the Belfry High School on U.S. 119 at Goody, Ky. “Proceeds from the dinner go to the Belfry High soccer team. This helps the runner’s fuel up the night before the race.
There will be a post-race pig-fest with music and pork fixed just about any way you'd want it,” Hatfield added. The pig-fest will be at Starter’s at 116 East Second Avenue, in Williamson, which is near the finish line for the full marathon.
All entrants will receive a T-shirt and Race bag of extras.
Buses will pick up runners from the local hotels in Williamson (Sycamore Inn and the Super 8) and also the parking lots in downtown to take them to the start line beginning at 5:00 AM. The shuttle service will also bring runners back from Matewan after the half marathon.
Packet pickup times for the runners are on June 8 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and on race day 5:00 am to 5:45am at Food City parking lot, where the race will start.
To register for the race go to www.hatfieldmccoymarathon.com or e-mail Hatfield about the race email TVRRC@hotmail.com.