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In 1991, the City of Morganton hosted the first annual May Day Biathlon & 5K Run to promote the beauty and vitality of Burke County and to promote physical activity for youth and adults through healthy competition. Two years later, a group of volunteer directors took over and, more than two decades later, the race is still going strong, making it one of the oldest races in the Southeast. Held each year on the first weekend in May, our mission remains the same: to promote physical activity to youth and adults through a well-organized and economically priced race, in a beautiful environment. We are a non-profit organization and all proceeds go back into the race.
Our two-day event consists of a youth biathlon on Saturday, followed by the adult duathlon and 5K run on Sunday. The youth race continues to grow each year, and now nearly 350 children under the age of 14 compete on the enclosed driving range at Freedom High School. There are very few venues that provide this opportunity for youth and we are extremely proud to be among them. With age groups beginning at "four years and under," our race is frequently an introduction to competitive sports for our participants. We encourage all youth, regardless of ability level, previous athletic endeavors and skill level, to participate. Although the spirit of competition remains strong, our goal is for each and every participant to leave not only with a trophy, but with a feeling of success. Both the parents and the children enjoy the safety and the healthy competition that the race provides.
The adult race also begins at Freedom High School with a 5K run. While some participants are finished after the 3.1 miles, duathletes then mount their bikes for one of the most scenic duathlon bike courses in the nation! For 2016 duathletes will get off the bike and continue on for a 1.5 mile run to finish off the race!
Each year, we have a uniquely designed t-shirt. Our entry fee remains low, the organization of the event remains high, and although we attract nationally-ranked athletes and award cash prizes to overall winners, the race maintains a small-town feel. Come join us. You'll be glad you did and you'll want to come back next year, as well.
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