WILLIAMSON — The 16th annual Hatfield and McCoy Marathon will take place this Saturday with races beginning at Food City in South Williamson, Ky. and in Matewan, W.Va.
The full marathon, the double-half marathon and the Blackberry half-marathon will begin at Food City at 7:00 a.m. The double-half marathon counts as two separate races, which will allow participants to run in two different states, West Virginia and Kentucky.
The River Road marathon will begin in Matewan at 8:00 a.m. and the second part of the double half race will begin in Matewan as well at 10:00 a.m.
The marathon rout takes runners by many of the actual feud sites in the Tug Valley.
The 5-K marathon will begin and end in Williamson on Second Avenue at 8:45 a.m.
Those needing transportation to Matewan for the River Road half marathon can be shuttled and are required to be at BB&T in Williamson no later than 6:30 a.m.
People look forward to and prepare for this annual marathon all year. But there’s more to running a marathon than getting out of bed and deciding to run. One must be in physical shape and in decent health to maintain the energy to complete a race, especially that of a full marathon.
So in preparation for the races, there will be a pre-race pasta dinner held at Belfry High School, Friday, June 12 between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Why a pasta dinner? Most runners know they should eat high-carb foods, such as pasta, since carbs are a great source of energy, which is needed to cover 26.2 miles or even 13.1 miles.
When you eat pasta, most of the carbs are stored as glycogen in your muscles and liver. Glycogen is your body’s most easily accessible form of energy. During a half or full marathon you burn both glycogen and fat. But it takes much longer for fat to turn into energy.
When you run out of glycogen during a race you hit “the wall.” Your body has to slow down as it turns fat into energy. Proper carb intake will not make you faster but it will allow you to run your best and, if you race smartly, avoid hitting the wall.
Hundreds of runners, many from out of town, visit the area for the annual marathon. They also bring family members to visit the area.
The Hatfield-McCoy Festival will be held next weekend in Matewan.