'Run with the Animals' at Blue Ridge Classic

'Run with the Animals' at Blue Ridge Classic


'Run with the Animals' at Blue Ridge Classic


The Blue Ridge Classic is Western North Carolina's largest annual track meet and held each year at Reynolds.

The Blue Ridge Classic is Western North Carolina’s largest annual track meet and held each year at Reynolds.

Special thanks to the organizers of the Blue Ridge Classic track meet for this information:

Run with The Animals

“Run with the Animals”, the Blue Ridge Classic Fun Run Festival for elementary school kids, is coming to Dalton Stadium at AC Reynolds High School on Saturday evening, April 23rd, from 5:00 to 8:30pm. This will be the 2nd year for this popular community event and if you didn’t sign up your children last year, be sure and mark your calendar for this year. Following immediately after the Blue Ridge Classic Track and Field Meet, the mission and goal of Run with the Animals is to encourage running and fitness in young kids by providing for them a safe, exciting and fun setting -a high school track in a stadium supervised by coaches and volunteers. The emphasis is on having fun and each runner will receive a participation ribbon, runner’s prize bag and healthy snacks. Traditional awards are also presented on the Blue Ridge Classic Awards Podium to the top 3 runners in each age group and gender. Additionally, to thank parents for encouraging their children to run, ”Super Prizes” -dinners for two, massage coupons and movie passes- are also randomly placed in runner’s bags for lucky parents!

As you would suspect from the name, the races are animal themed! Since it would be an impossible task to get real animals to run with the kids, the festival organizers have come up with a wonderful alternative! In full costume dressed up as animals, Reynolds High School track athletes run in the races, cheering them on and adding a Disneyland-like dimension to each race. For a first grader, what could be better than running a race accompanied by smiling full size hamsters and rabbits. The older kids of course, the 5th and 6th, get to run with coyotes, foxes, black bears and more formidable animals! And to make it even more fun for all, parents are encouraged to run with the younger children if they wish to.

The races start at 5:30 and continue through the evening every 15 minutes, beginning with the Chipmunk 200 Meter Run for boys and girls in Kindergarten and ending at 8:00 with the Asheville Lightning Coyote 1600M Run for 5th & 6th grade boys. In between there are animal-accompanied, age-appropriate races (400 to 1000 Meters) for each grade and gender.

Registration online before the festival is encouraged although you may register and pay at the stadium beginning at 4:30. The entry fee is only $5.00 per runner and parents are encouraged to check in at the Registration Tent on the field at least an hour before your child’s scheduled race. Starting times for the races are listed on the festival website www.blueridgeclassic.org. And yes, festival will go on rain or shine.

Major support for Run with the Animals is provided by TS Orthodontics, who will have their mobile festival unit on site, providing games, activities and face painting, and Southeastern Sports Medicine, who provide medical assistance if needed, and free advice and consultations. Other festival sponsors include Brother Wolf, Girls on the Run, the Asheville Lightning Junior Olympics Team, the WNC Nature Center, YMCA of Western North Carolina, Twardon Family Care, Fairview Chiropractic Center, Tammy Murphy Insurance Company, Gloria Berlin AllState Insurance, Paramount KIA of Asheville and Family Care of Fairview.

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