Races & Runs in the New River Gorge, WV

wv race

West Virginia's wild and wonderful people love racing.

Amid the disappointing controversy of a canceled 5k in nearby Charleston, we want to commend the 2,000+ runners who were set to race for charity. That's a lot of people eager to get active!

Maybe it's the thrill of the runner's high. Maybe it's to help a good cause. Maybe it's just for the fun of a challenge.

No matter what the reason, Bridge Day is all about adventure. If you didn't get to participate in the run, here are some other outdoor races in the area to try:

Captain Thurmond's Challenge Aug. 2, Fayetteville, WV

This triathlon will really test not only your running, but your mountain biking and paddling skills (either solo or as a team). Begin with a 15-mile trail cycle, then hop on the water for a 7-mile paddle through world-class whitewater rapids. Finally, run an uphill 6.5-mile trail to the finish line (where food, refreshments and entertainment will await.)

Thurmond Triathlon Aug. 3, Thurmond, WV

This race from the Historic Thurmond Depot in the old rail town is perfect for beginners, whether solo or as a family. It's a calmer alternative to Captain Thurmond's Challenge. The bike is 2 miles of trail, followed by a duckie (inflatable kayak, 1 or 2-person) paddle down the calm Dun Glen Day Use Area. The final step is a 2-mile loop run around the historic town.

Summersville's Midnight Blast 5K Aug. 8, Summersville, WV

This runner-only late-night race starts Friday at midnight. Runners will loop from the Summersville Convention and Visitor's Bureau. The proceeds benefit the Nicholas County High School Cross Country Program. Awards will be given tot the top contenders overall and in 12 age categories, and the first 125 registered get a free T-Shirt!

New River Gorgeous Trail Run & Walk Aug. 23, Oak Hill, WV

Win prizes for being active! The overall winners will win cash awards, and medals will be given to all the division winners. The trails wind through the beautiful hardwood forests of ACE Adventure Resort. Once you're across the finish line, you can enjoy a burrito lunch, and explore all of ACE's awesome adventure activities, from the lake play park to zip lining, rock climbing, whitewater rafting and other outdoor activities. The first 150 registrants get a free T-Shirt!

Walk to End Alzheimer's Sept. 13, Beckley/Oak Hill WV

This family-friendly walk fundraiser can even include your dog! Proceeds benefit the Alzheimer's Association. It begins at the Beckley/Raleigh County Convention Center with a Promise Garden Ceremony, where you can personalize a flower in tribute of a loved one, whether it be a loved one lost from or struggling with Alzheimer's or dementia in their life somehow, or just for supporters.

The Animal Upper Gauley River Race Sept 22, Summersville, WV

This boating race is for pros only. Take on the extreme Upper Gauley, with its legendary and raging "Big 5" rapids, ending after the 10-foot waterfall at Sweet's Falls. Different kayaks, canoes and rafting teams have their own divisions, but other boats, like duckies, are welcome in the Open Class.

16th Annual Beckley 1/2 Marathon Oct. 4, Beckley, WV

Join at the University of Charleston in Beckley to run the 5k or half-marathon. Each race has 12 age divisions, and a community dinner will precede the race the evening before it begins.

Run Around the Gorge Oct. 24-26, Fayetteville, WV

Trek 41 miles over two days through the fiery fall colors of the gorge. Too much? No worries. You can run shorter distances each day if you choose. Included is lodging at Opossum Creek Retreat, with hot tubs and massages to relax in after the day's runs. You'll also get catered meals, a shirt, door prizes.

Of course, if you're not up for that much craziness, you can always take a normal rafting trip and 'race' your group's other boats around, or you can hit the trails for a friendly (or competitive) jog with a friend.

There's also more to try. Rock climb and race friends up the rocks, race down the area's double-lined zipline tracks, or just enjoy a competitive round of paintball. It's not hard to find a way to play here in Bridge Country.

Which challenge are you up for?