The Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism has announced its outdoor event series for the upcoming spring and summer.

Kicking off the events will be the Gran Fondo Alleghany: Agony in the Alleghanies on Saturday, May 8, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., beginning in Covington and finishing in Clifton Forge. 

This cycling event has been moved up to May to beat the intense heat usually experienced in the peak summer months. The race touches almost every piece of pavement within the Alleghany Highlands and spans just over 100 miles.

If that’s too long, the event also offers shorter races to appeal to most skill levels.

The Jackson River Scenic Trail Marathon will take place on Saturday, June 5, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Intervale trailhead in Covington.

The marathon continues to serve as a Boston Marathon qualifier course. This event also includes a half marathon, 10k and 5k, appealing to runners of all skill levels.

On Saturday, August 7, the Lake Moomaw One Mile Swim will take place from 9 am to 12 noon at Lake Moomaw.

The one-mile swim will start at Coles Point, then proceed toward Gathright Dam and back. 

“Over 90 percent of the participants in these events come from outside of the Alleghany Highlands and we are excited to continue to grow tourism in our area and help our area businesses reach new customers,” said Josh Taylor, Special Projects and Marketing coordinator for the chamber.

“Last year the Gran Fondo was the largest it has been in seven years, the marathon was the largest it has ever been and despite that, we are on pace to increase participation even more in 2021, so volunteers are important to make this event a success,” Taylor added.

Volunteers are needed to staff a number of positions for all events, especially the Jackson River Scenic Trail Marathon and Gran Fondo Alleghany.

Volunteers are needed in various shifts from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the marathon and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the Gran Fondo.

The chamber is able to split these shifts so that the time needed per volunteer isn’t as time-consuming.

Area organizations and individuals are encouraged to participate as a volunteer or to come cheer on the participants during the events.  

If you would like to find out more information about volunteering, call Taylor at the chamber office at 962-2178.

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The Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism has announced its outdoor event series for the spring and summer. Events will include the Gran Fondo Alleghany: Agony in the Alleghanies on Saturday, May 8; the Jackson River Scenic Trail Marathon on Saturday, June 5; and the Lake Moomaw One Mile Swim on Saturday, Aug. 7. Here runners head off from the starting line during the 2019 Jackson River Scenic Trail Marathon. (Photo Courtesy Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism)