Grab a loved one and make a run for it

Fred McCormick
Black Mountain News

For the 19th year a group of runners will gather near Lake Tomahawk on a February morning to run through the streets of Black Mountain. 

For some, it's all for love. 

Last year, Amber Reece-Young of Asheville finished the Valentine 5K second in the open-division for female runners. This year's Valentine 5K will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10.

The Valentine 5K & Kids Fun Run returning this year on Saturday, Feb. 10 offers runners a chance to compete individually or as a team. 

On their mark and ready to go, runners in Black Mountain’s 18th annual Valentine 5K get ready to push off the starting line at Lake Tomahawk.

"One of the most unique features of this event is the option to run as a team," said Brittany Williams, recreation program supervisor for the town of Black Mountain, who is in organizing the race for the third year. 

Husband and wife teams compete in three categories based on combined age. There are a wide variety of other team combinations including an open category. 

"It's a fun way to encourage people to get out and run together," Williams said. 

The free kids fun run, a half-mile trip around the lake, gets underway at 9:30 a.m. Parents can register their children at or on the day of the race by 8:30 a.m.

The 5K, which is one of the races on the Asheville Track Club Grand Prix for 2018, starts at 10 a.m., on Laurel Circle. Registration for the race is $25 on can be completed at as well. 

The 5K takes runners over three of the town's greenways and ends with a lap around Lake Tomahawk. 

This year, the first 200 runners to sign up receive a free fleece blanket. 

It's difficult to estimate how many people will participate in the race from year to year, Williams said. Last year the 5K drew a record 230 runners, and the fun run had more than 60 children. 

"But it was 65 degrees last year and the weather was perfect," Williams said. "There were people out there running in shorts."

Numbers are typically lower when temperatures are lower, she said.

Costumes are encouraged and a Spirit Award is given to the competitor who reflects the Valentine's Day spirit through their race-day outfit.