Black Mountain to host inaugural Valentine Greenway Challenge

Karrigan Monk
Black Mountain News
The Valentine 5K and the Greenway Challenge have been combined into the Valentine Greenway Challenge, hosted by the Black Mountain Recreation & Parks department.

The Black Mountain Recreation & Parks department will host a new race Feb. 11 with the inaugural Valentine Greenway Challenge.

The new race combines the annual Valentine 5K with the Black Mountain Greenway Challenge. This would have been the 24th annual Valentine 5K and the 15th annual Greenway Challenge.

Recreation Coordinator Clint Bowman said the two races were combined to help raise money for Black Mountain’s greenways, which was the original cause of the Black Mountain Greenway Challenge.

“That was something that myself and the director of our department kind of brainstormed an idea of how to raise more funds for the greenway and to combine resources for a better cause,” Bowman said. “It just seemed like a natural fit.”

Bowman said the Recreation & Parks department did not previously have involvement in the Black Mountain Greenway Challenge, but the race went by their offices every year and he thinks it is a good opportunity to “hopefully raise more money" for the greenways.

The 2023 course will take runners from the Parks & Recreation office in downtown Black Mountain to Veterans Park via the Oaks Trail and back.

Participants can register online for $30 until Feb. 6, when the price will increase. Runners can also register the day before at the WNC Outdoor Collective or day-of. The race will begin at 2 p.m. Feb. 11.  

Prizes will be offered to top finishers, and spirit awards will be given out to those who show the “most Valentine spirit.” Prizes for the spirit awards will go to adults, youths and couples.

Bowman said he always looks forward to seeing how participants dress up in an attempt to win the spirit award.

“I’m always excited to see how people dress up for the event,” Bowman said. “People dress up in all sorts of crazy outfits from tutus and pink and purple outfits with hearts all over them. It’s really cool to see people getting the spirit of Valentine’s Day and just celebrate it in that way.”