27th annual Greenbrier River Race goes digital
The Greenbrier River Race hasn't changed much the past couple decades or so. There were a couple of years it was held in Greenbrier County, and the route has been altered once or twice, but for the most part, it's the same thrilling experience for racers every year.
The 27th annual Greenbrier River Race is going to mark some changes aimed at streamlining registration and timing during the race.
This is the first year online registration will be available for the race at www.tristateracer.com.
Race director Brenda Cochran said last year's 498 registrants was the biggest turnout they've ever had. With the mini-triathlon attracting more racers every year, Cochran said she hopes the online registration will make things a little easier for race organizers.
“The deadline this year is April 12, but the majority of people wait until after the first of April to register — they wait until the last minute,” joked Cochran. “Normally the last week before the race, we're getting 40 or 50 registrations a day.”
Another change this year will be the implementation of electronic chip-timing, rather than manual timing like in years past.
“It's brand new this year so we're not exactly sure how everything works,” admitted Cochran. “What we are told, the chip will be inside the racer's bibs, so everything is done electronically. Once they cross the pad, it will automatically read their time. Manual timing takes a lot of work, a lot of people, and a lot of time afterward getting the totals together. So we're hoping chip-timing will alleviate some of that.”
Cochran has been involved with the race for years now, but this is her first year as race director.
“I've been involved with the race since 1999,” Cochran said. “For years I helped my sister with the race registration. Then for the last two years, I've been volunteer coordinator. Our race director decided she needed some time off, and they needed a new race director, so I stepped up to the plate. I felt like I had enough all-around experience that I could step in, rather than bring someone brand-new in that didn't know what was going on.”
Cochran said everything on race-day will start early.
“We're usually there around 6:30 or 7 a.m., and we start registration at 8 a.m. at the gazebo. We'll have the big tent set-up there, and we'll be doing registration there. Then there's a mandatory race meeting at 10:30 and then the race begins promptly at 11. Packet pick-up is from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday night at the Marlinton Municipal Building, then again at 8 a.m. on Saturday for people who aren't coming in on Friday.”
Cochran said they're always looking for volunteers for the 17-mile event.
“We'll always take volunteers,” said Cochran. “It takes between 60-80 volunteers to be able to pull off the entire race, and we can't do it without their help. Without them, we can't have a race.”
Cochran said everyone is invited to the race, and there will be live music at the gazebo — Mixed Nuts, of Charleston, is scheduled to perform.
“They do a really great job — just easy listening. People will enjoy having them there,” Cochran said. “Come out, enjoy the fun. It's a nice family event. It used to be we didn't have many spectators, maybe just five or six people watching. Now, we get a lot of local people, as well as the racers, bringing their families. So it's become a spectator sport, too.”
The 27th annual Greenbrier River Race takes place Saturday, April 27. The mini-triathlon totals 17 miles — a three-mile run, followed by a four-mile kayak trip, finishing-up with a 10-mile bike ride along the Greenbrier River Trail back into Marlinton.
For more information, contact the Pocahontas County Convention Visitors Bureau or visit www.tristateracer.com
For anyone interested in volunteering for the race, contact Brenda Cochran at email@example.com