Running through history

Sep. 28, 2013 @ 06:01 AM

Runners of all ages will have a chance to follow in the footsteps of the Overmountain Men, along a portion of the path they marched to the Battle of Kings Mountain, on Main Street in Rutherfordton next weekend.

Rutherford Town Revitalization (RTR), in coordination with the Rutherford Outdoor Coalition (ROC), the Town of Rutherfordton and other local sponsors, will hold the annual Overmountain Victory Trail 5K in conjunction with the town’s Hilltop Fall Festival on Saturday, Oct. 5.

The 5K is part of the ROC Race Series and runners will begin promptly at 8 a.m., crossing the starting line at the corner of Court and Main Streets and proceeding north up Main Street. The 5K course will loop around and lead runners back up Main Street to the finish line in front of the First United Methodist Church.

Runner Kevin Jewett has participated in the Overmountain Victory Trail 5K the past two years and is eager to run again this year.

“The first time I did the race I won my age division, and the next year I ran the race and also participated in the Tour de Pumpkin immediately following the 5K,” Jewett said. “So far I’ve been beneficial enough to run every race in the ROC series. I just had appendix surgery last month and this 5K will be the first run I’ve done since the surgery.”

Following the Overmountain Victory Trail 5K, cyclists will take off from the Rutherford County Office Building on Main Street as part of the 10th Annual Tour de Pumpkin cycling event.

Once the bike race concludes there will be an Overmountain Victory Trail fun run, open to all ages as well as strollers.

Interested runners can still register by visiting www.rutherfordoutdoor.org. The entry fee for the 5K is $15 and $7 for the fun run through Sunday, Sept. 29. On the day of the event, registration for the 5K is $20 and $10 for the fun run.

The first 100 entrants to register for the 5K will receive a T-shirt and awards will be presented to the top male and female overall finishers, top male and female masters and top male and female finishers across several age groups.

In-person registration and race packet pick up will be on Friday, Oct. 4 from 3-8 p.m. at the Woodrow Jones Building at the corner of Court and Main Streets. On race day, registration and pick up will be on the courthouse lawn from 6:45-7:45 a.m.

“The fall festival will be going on at the same time as the races, which is always really neat,” Jewett said. “I’m the type of person that likes to help people so I get up early enough and go around and help vendors set up their tents — it’s really fun getting to meet people and chat with them at the festival.”

Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail

During the American Revolution the corps of Patriots known as the Overmountain Men marched through present-day Rutherfordton on their way to the Battle of Kings Mountain.

The Patriots defeated British troops under the command of Major Patrick Ferguson on Oct. 7, 1780, in what Thomas Jefferson referred to as the battle that “turned the tide of success” in the American Revolutionary War.

The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail was established in 1980 and courses straight down Rutherfordton’sElkin that joins with the main route in Morganton. Fifty-seven miles of the trail are officially developed for public use. Main Street. The trail network consists of a 330-mile corridor, including a 70-mile branch from

To commemorate the campaign that led to the Battle of Kings Mountain, each fall members of the Overmountain Victory Trail Association lead a march along the trail with public events to honor the patriot army and their story.

This year, the marchers will arrive in historical Gilbert Town in Rutherfordton on Thursday, Oct. 3 and provide an educational program geared toward eighth graders.