BLUEFIELD — The two Bluefields have been named “host cities” for the first two days of the inaugural Appalachian Series of marathon races.

The first race begins Saturday, Oct. 11 at Bluefield City Park, starting at 7:30 a.m. The next day, a second race begins at the same place and time.

The marathon series was announced by Mainly Marathons LLC and the Mercer County Convention and Visitor Bureau, which said the series is a fundraising event for local charities.

The series consists of five races — both full- and half-marathons will be staged — in five states in five days. After starting at the state line of West Virginia and Virginia, the series will move on to North Carolina, then South Carolina, and will finish in Georgia on Saturday, Oct. 15.

The course in Bluefield is described as “an out-and-back design, and there will be a well-stocked aid station every 2.184 miles.

Clint Burleson, race director of Mainly Marathons, said that he was very happy to bring this event to the area.

“The two Bluefields are the perfect cities in the perfect spot with a perfectly designed park covering both states,” he said. “We couldn’t be more excited to come to this beautiful part of the country to begin the Appalachian Series.

“The Convention and Visitor’s bureau has been instrumental in making this happen and we are looking forward to running here in October.”

The Bluefield Marathons will feature both a full (26.2-mile) and half (13.1-mile) marathon. Along with many local participants, more a hundred runners from 38 states and several countries around the world have already signed up to compete in this no-pressure event.

Unlike most marathons, there will be no time limit and walkers are more than welcome. This series was designed with first-time full and half marathoners in mind, as well as more experienced marathoners trying to complete all five marathons in five days.

Mainly Marathons has a “no runner left behind” policy, meaning that everyone will receive the same support out on the course, no matter how long they may take to finish; prizes are awarded for those who finish last, rather than first.

Among those who will be running are some of the top endurance marathoners in the world, including Larry Macon, who currently holds the records for most marathons in a year (255) and lifetime (over 1300).

Parvaneh Moayedi will also be in attendance; she is the female world record holder for most marathons in a year (168).

There will be several others with over 200, 300, 500, and even 1,000 lifetime marathons. Many people will be attempting their first full- or half-marathon, and they will receive prizes for completing the challenge.

Runners may register online or via regular mail by visiting www.mainlymarathons.com.

Put “Bluefield Local” in the “How did you hear about this event?” line on the registration form. Entrants may also register at the packet pick-up pasta dinner on Oct. 10 at the Quality Inn in Bluefield, or on the morning of either race at the start line.

For more information, please visit www.mainlymarathons.com.

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