As Strong as Iron
Putnam County residents can go the extra mile toward their fitness goals when the 2019 Iron Horse Endurance Run takes place this weekend.
The 28-hour race will begin 7 a.m. Saturday in Florahome, at the corner of State Road 100 and Coral Farms Road. Iron Horse participants can opt to run three distances on the 25-mile long course: 50 miles, 100 kilometers and 100 miles
Putnam Blueways and Trails helped plan the event. Officials said they are excited to help put on another successful run, which will feature a free cookout for runners and families as well as new trail routing.
One of the most important aspects to a successful event is community involvement and positivity throughout the county, organizers said.
“This race is a community event, supported by the community. We try to cater to the runners. Our course is well marked, and we track the runners all during the race,” Putnam Blueways and Trails Chairman Bob Stender said. “Our community is committed to promoting Putnam County and all the outdoors it has to offer.”
The race has attracted marathon runners from all over the country, and this year is no different, Stender said. The large appeal of the run is the atmosphere, Stender said, and over 70 runners from throughout the country have registered.
“From the athletes’ standpoint, it is an opportunity to participate in a unique and special event in this part of the country,” he said.
Race participants will have different experiences depending on the distance they choose. 50-mile runners will run two loops and pay a $90 entry fee.
Runners on the 100-kilometer course will run two and a half loops and pay $100, while runners on the 100-mile course will do four loops around the trail and pay $170.
Putnam Blueways and Trails secretary Christen Mitchell said the run gives people who aren’t from Putnam County an idea of what the county has to offer in terms of tourism and the outdoors.
“I think anytime we have the opportunity to show off Putnam County’s natural resources we should,” she said. “I don’t think most people know just how truly blessed we are here. And this run takes advantage of some really great forest trails as well as some of our rails-to-trails trails”
Mitchell said this year’s race has several runners registered who have participated in the race before, indicating people think highly of the event and are excited to return to Putnam County.
“Ultimately, we want repeat visitors. Ecotourism is where it’s at for Putnam County, and events like this that draw people from out of our area are the best form of advertising,” Mitchell said. “Once you get a taste of what Putnam County has to offer with our waterways and trails, you’ll be sure to come back.”
Register at www.IronHorse100KMileClub.com, or call the Putnam Blueways and Trails at 546-1668 for information.