For the ninth year now, Groveton will be the site of an event that its organizers considers to have a "cult following" in the world of marathon running.
The Davy Crockett Bear Chase Marathon, which begins bright and early at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 23 is a 26.2-mile total test of fitness that keeps participants coming back year-after-year. From runners who make the sport their life to novices and everyone in between, the event organizers promise that the Bear Chase is a way for participants to "get back to the roots of running."
Participants come to Groveton from all over the country, and in the past the race has even hosted runners from the United Kingdom.
Prior to the race, on Friday night, a pasta dinner will take place for the runners and their families in the Groveton Elementary School cafeteria, free of charge. The dinner that has become a tradition during the race.
The marathon itself has different events, with each accommodating runners of varied levels of experience and age. The 26.2-mile main event is a cycle of twice around a 13.1-mile course, which features pavement and forest roads in and around the city. It will start at Groveton High School Athletic Field and proceed to the roads and streets, eventually returning to the starting point.
Runners are also able to compete in a half-marathon, a 5K run or a Possum Walk event, which is one mile (four laps) around the track. All participants in the event will receive a medal and a stuffed bear.
The entry fees for participants range from $20 to $90. The registration information can be accessed through the Fifty States Marathon Club page at: http://www.50statesmarathonclub.com/bear.html, although online registration for this year's race has ended.
Other particulars, such as an itemized schedule and information about lodging can also be found on the page.