An adults-only race anchors a weekend of activities at LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge in April, 2016.
Everyone who runs in the RetroRunning event next April in Pigeon Forge is guaranteed to set a personal record. That’s because it’s the only race ever that’s exactly 5 miles, 916 yards long.
The peculiar distance and the fact it’s only for runners age 40 and older create an unusual weekend April 29-May 1, 2016, at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge.
“The LeConte Event Center has been the location for sporting events such as gymnastics, cheer and basketball tournaments, but this is different,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism. “RetroRunning organizer Steve Hall is using the race as the hook for a full weekend for the over-40 crowd and making great use of our building.”
Hall, a Knoxville runner and businessman, says the weekend is designed for entertainment, information and exercise.
Three keynote speakers at the RetroRunning weekend will enhance the traditional runners’ expo:
- Jeff Galloway, the nation’s leading running coach and columnist for the world’s top running publication, Runner’s World
- Lee Ellis, a leadership consultant whose life lessons were tempered by five years as a prisoner of war at the Hanoi Hilton during the Vietnam War
- Rudy Maxa, travel journalist, the voice of National Geographic Traveler’s “Walks of a Lifetime” podcasts and host of the syndicated travel radio show, “Rudy Maxa’s World”
Workshop topics include investment and wealth management, elder law and estate planning, long-term care and identity theft.
Two nights of live entertainment are included. One is a tribute to the Beach Boys and the Eagles from Woodie and the Longboards, a band from southern California, and the other is a show from Top Tier, a six-member group with a repertoire spanning seven decades.
The race itself will wind through Pigeon Forge, along the Parkway with its views of Mt. LeConte in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and on the Pigeon Forge Greenway.
“A special touch is that the race will have a ‘Progressional Start,’ a trademarked term meaning you race against your peers. We will have multiple starts, beginning with runners age 40-44, then with runners 45-49 and so on,” Hall said.
$50 of every race registration and 10% of all sponsor revenue will go to area charities. Charities that will benefit from the event include Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library; Friends of the Smokies, which supports Great Smoky Mountains National Park; Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee; Remote Area Medical, which delivers free medical, dental and vision care in remote locations; Wears Valley Ranch, a children’s home; ADFAC, an Appalachian service organization; and Discover Life in America, a scientific organization that studies the estimated 60,000 to 80,000 species in Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
The RetroRunning weekend will use assembly, concert and seminar/classroom space in the 232,599-square-foot LeConte Event Center. Runners will assemble on race day by age group in the building’s largest space, the 100,500-square-foot LeConte Hall. The facility opened in 2013.
Register or learn more about the RetroRunning event at GoRetroRunning.com.