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Coal-themed run in Williamson literally 'dusts' the competition

Jessica Jude is all smiles after last year's Coal Dust Run in Williamson. (Courtesy Photo/Chuck Ray)

Runners in this race will get “dusted” no matter how fast they go.

Participants in the Frank O’Brien Memorial Coal Dust 5K/10K or one-mile walk in Williamson at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, will get “dusted” with black powder at certain intervals of the course, the Williamson Daily News reported.

“This is one of my favorite events, if not my favorite,” said Natalie Taylor, director of the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce. “We have a lot of people who run in memory of their father or grandfather who was a coal miner, and it’s just a really special event for the area.”

The race is a local spin on Color Runs that are held throughout the country in which participants are showered with colored powder. In the Coal Dust Run, the idea is to dust participants with black powder so they look like they have just completed a coal miner’s shift underground.

Founded in 2012, the Coal Dust event has been a fun run with no timing. Organizers this year combined it with the Frank O’Brien Memorial 10K and will offer a timed 6.2-mile race.

The races, organized by the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Tug Valley Road Runners Club, travel through downtown Williamson and end in front of the historic Coal House on Second Avenue.

Registration is available online here or participants can register the day of the event at the Coal House.


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