The deadline for discount registration for The Watoga State Park Mountain Trail Challenge is June 30. Registration fees go up July 1 and then again on race day, Aug. 13. The two trail running races, a 5K and a half marathon, use historic trails in Watoga State Park and adjacent Calvin Price State Forest, many of them built by the CCC in the 1930s. Both races start and finish at the park’s Beaver Creek Campground. Professional chip timing and online registration will be provided by TriStateRacer. Runners can register online or download mail-in forms at www.watogafoundation.org. All proceeds benefit the park through the Watoga State Park Foundation.
The 5K race is on groomed trails through a variety of forest ecosystems. It can be enjoyed by people who want to support the park and have a pleasant hike, but at the same time competitive runners can strive to make their mark. It’s the first year, so whoever wins sets the course record. The half marathon is already attracting runners from throughout the state and beyond. The foundation is grateful for advice and support from members of West Virginia Mountain Trail Runners and also sponsorship from the Dirt Bean Café and Bike Shop in Marlinton.
Watoga State Park is located 7 miles south of Marlinton in Pocahontas County. Maps of the park and the Mountain Trail Challenge race courses can also be found at www.watogafoundation.org along with directions to the park and links for race registration and volunteering.