Western Carolina University faculty and students from the athletic training program finished the fourth annual Mountain Jug Run for Research in record time, completing the 175-mile relay run from Cullowhee to Boone in 29 hours, 11 minutes and 54 seconds.
The fundraising effort began early Friday afternoon, Oct. 7, from WCU’s E.J. Whitmire Stadium and ended at the Appalachian State University football stadium just after 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8. This year’s contingent of 15 WCU runners beat the previous low time of 29 hours, 53 minutes and 53 seconds recorded by last year’s group, said James Scifers, director of WCU’s School of Health Sciences.
Named in honor of “The Battle for the Old Mountain Jug,” the annual football rivalry game between WCU and ASU, the relay is organized to raise funds for the National Athletic Trainers’ Association’s Research and Education Foundation, which awards research grants and academic scholarships in the field of sports medicine.
The relay course took the runners 15 miles to the Blue Ridge Parkway at Balsam, and then the group followed the parkway north for 152 miles before exiting the scenic highway and running the final 7 miles into Boone.
The running contingent this year included Scifers and three other faculty members – Ashley Long, Rob Dingle and Emily Martin – plus 11 students: senior Kayla Jones, juniors Josh Edwards, Wes Bell, Alessa Lennon, Mikko Ablan and Carlos Acuna; sophomores Sarah McNamara, Aaron Marshall, Brittany Wiley and Michael Evans; and freshman Taylor Parker.
Donations will be accepted until the end of WCU’s fall semester and may be made in the form of checks, made payable to the NATA-REF, and sent to Jill Manners in 134 Moore Hall at WCU.