Race up Howard’s Knob part of homecoming festivities

Stephanie Sansoucy

The annual two-mile, all uphill run to Howard’s Knob will take place Friday at 5:30 p.m. as part of Appalachian State University’s homecoming weekend.

The race, called “The Knob,” starts at the Watauga County Library and finishes at the top of Howard’s Knob.

“The Knob” is recognized as an official homecoming event through the ASU Alumni Association and is the last race of the Triple Crown Series, which also includes two separate runs in June and August, respectively.

The two completed races of the Triple Crown Series included “The Cub,” a seven-mile race up Valley Crucis and a “The Half Marathon” from Kidd Brewer Stadium to Blowing Rock.

All proceeds from registration fees and sponsors will be donated to the program Girls on the Run of the High Country.

Mary Sheryl, director of Girls on the Run and a member of the advisory committee for the High Country Triple Crown, said the program is a 12-week class for girls in the third through eighth grades.

“[Participants] work on skills to help them live healthier lives and be more self-confident,” Sheryl said. “We combine that with running.”

Sheryl said that the girls of the program will run a 5k at the end of the 12-week program, which is coached by many Appalachian students.

As of Wednesday, approximately 75 runners were registered for “The Knob” race. With registration open until the day of the race, Sheryl said she expects approximately 120 runners total.

Appalachian alumna Kaity Ruhland participated in “The Knob” last homecoming as a senior and said she and her roommate ran the race as part of their bucket list.

“We were making our senior bucket list and we couldn’t help but put running ‘The Knob’ on it,” Ruhland said. “We thought it would be fun and a great experience.”
“The Knob” has traditionally been the night before Appalachian’s homecoming football game.

Ruhland said she loved that the race was a part of homecoming week with so many alumni and students on campus.

“It was just another event to add to the list of [homecoming events] and another way to celebrate and embrace the fullness of life in Boone and at [Appalachian],” Ruhland said.

Story: NICOLE BELLAMY, Intern News Reporter