Warrior Drive 5 run is reborn

Published 4:03 pm Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Years ago, elite runners, including Olympians, came to run a course at the foot of Warrior Mountain in Tryon. Now, runners can experience the revival of this race, the Warrior Drive 5 on May 22 at Harmon Field beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Runners and walkers of all abilities are welcome at this family-friendly event, a return of the popular race last held in the 1980s. The five-mile run/walk, plus one-mile fun run, begins and ends at Harmon Field, and follows a course that offers gorgeous views of Warrior Mountain as well as the sounds of the Pacolet River. There will be T-shirts for all registrants (must register two weeks prior to guarantee shirt).

There will be cash prizes as well as hand-made Morris the Horse figurines for the&bsp; top three overall male and female, plus top three overall masters male and female (Morris is the whimsical, unofficial mascot of Tryon). First through third place finishers in all age groups receive custom-designed commemorative acrylic plaques. There will be a mini-race expo onsite and post-race food and drink at the finish line.

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Historic Harmon Field is one of the most pristine and scenic parks in the Carolina Foothills. Situated snugly at the foot of Warrior Mountain and bordered by the Pacolet River, it has served as home to the Blue Ridge BBQ Festival for many years. Now it serves as the home for the reborn Warrior Drive 5.

For out of town visitors wishing to make a day of it, Harmon Field has a large shaded play area for children, numerous picnic areas and the Pacolet River for frolicking. Parking is convenient to the Start/Finish line area.

On race day, the Tryon Fine Arts Center will be hosting the Art in Bloom Festival. Six private gardens in the local area will be open from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Artists will be painting in the gardens. Master gardeners will be available to answer questions, and refreshments will be served at two locations.

There will be showers available at the Harmon Field field house on race day.

Course Facts:

USATF-certified 5-mile course;

Professional timing and finish line management by John Lehman of Its About Time Course is mostly flat but moderately challenging;

Scenic loop course at the foot of Warrior Mountain with all right-hand turns;

Two water stops;

On-course mile splits;

Track adjacent to Start/Finish line for convenient warm-up and cool-down;

Fans can watch their favorite runners for much of the final 1.25 miles;

The tracks infield will be set with tents for post-race hydration and nutrition, as well as sponsors and vendors.

The Chamber is also seeking volunteers to work the event.&bsp; To volunteer, call the Chamber at 828-859-6236 and leave your contact information.

The Warrior Drive Five is a project of the Carolina Foothills Chamber of Commerce. For more information and to register, visit www.warriordrive5.com, or call the Chamber events office at 828-859-7127.