Every second Saturday of June since 2000, runners have gathered in South Williamson, Kentucky, to run the Hatfield-McCoy marathon. The world-renowned race takes participants past a variety of important sites from the historic Hatfield-McCoy feud, including the homes and gravesites of notable members of the Hatfield and McCoy families. The marathon was the idea of Sonya Hatfield, a descendant of the Hatfield family, to be a part of the Hatfield-McCoy reunion festival.
The Feud Continues...Among the Runners!
This June, Williamson will host the 20th annual Hatfield-McCoy run. Tug Valley Road Runners Club president Alexis Batausa expects at least 1,000 participants. Before the race begins, participants can choose to be either a Hatfield or McCoy. Once everyone has crossed the finish line, the race-times for each family are added up to show which team raced the fastest. Those who choose to take on the challenge of finishing the entire marathon will finish in downtown Williamson, but runners can also choose to run only the first or second half. There will also be a 5K run and a free run for kids.
20 Years and Running Strong!
Through the years, the race has changed. In 2000, there were about 30 participants. In 2014, a miniseries about the feud was released on the History channel, which brought attention to the region in general and brought more than 1200 participants to the marathon. The race is known by runners around the world, and runners have come from as far away as Japan and Australia to take part. In 2013, the Weather Channel included the race on their list of the 15 toughest races in the world, due to the humidity and the difficulty of the terrain.
This year, to celebrate the 20th anniversary, organizers wanted to do something special, so they collaborated with Pauley Hollow, a local distillery, to provide moonshine for the runners. Participants can purchase a voucher and pick up their moonshine from a local retailer after the race.
When asked what makes the Hatfield-McCoy Marathon unique, Alexis replied that it’s “the people and the volunteers...everyone working together. We take care of everyone like our own.”
You can register all the way up until the day of the race, June 9th. You get more information on the race and other races available HERE. You can find pricing and register for the Hatfield-McCoy marathon HERE.