Back in 2012, color runs were all the rage. Unfortunately for the folks with the Tug Valley Road Runners Club, they were also trademarked, so they weren’t able to do a color run in Williamson. They didn’t let that stop them from coming up with their own version of a color run Natalie Taylor, the former president of the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce, and Leigh Ann Ray came together with the idea to use black dust for a Coal Dust Run. They hosted the first ever Coal Dust Run that year as a precursor to the King Coal festival. They even encouraged folks to dress like coal miners to pay homage to the industry that has supported the region for decades.
Ten years later, the Coal Dust Run is still going strong. “It’s a collaboration between the Tug Valley Road Runners Club and the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce,” Chris Dotson, the current president of the Chamber of Commerce. “The proceeds do benefit the Coal House,” Says Leigh Ann Ray with the TVRRC. “because it’s a historical monument that honors the industry as well.”
No matter how you participate in the course, Chris says, “It’s always a great atmosphere, and a lot of fun."
Both the Chamber of Commerce and the TVRRC feel that this event is about more than having fun, or going for a run. “Honoring our miners- is what it’s really about,” Leigh Ann says, Chris agrees, describing the event as a “tribute” to the coal mining industry.
The Coal Dust Run will be at 6pm on Saturday, September 10th in Williamson starting at the Coal House. You still have time to pre- register or you can register on race day at The Coal House. To learn more about this event, check out their Facebook page.