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32nd Annual Great Greenbrier River Race

Photo by Suzanne Stewart
Hundreds of participants flock to Pocahontas County each spring to bike, boat and run their way through the Great Greenbrier River Race.

Saturday, April 28

Register by April 13 at

Mandatory meeting at 10:30 a.m. at the Gazebo on Main Street in Marlinton.

Triathlon begins at 11 a.m.

Nothing says “Spring” like the crowd of racers, friends, family and volunteers who gather each year on the last Saturday of April for the ever-growing 17-mile Great Greenbrier River Race.

Young and old, fit and extremely fit, it doesn’t matter. The River Race is an opportunity to have fun, enjoy the beauty of Pocahontas County and support the Greenbrier River Trail Association.

The triathlon begins and ends in the town of Marlinton.

The race course incorporates some of the most scenic segments of the Greenbrier River and Trail, and rewards the day’s efforts with a gourmet picnic and live music at the finish line.

Lynne Ryan, of Maidsville, Maryland, described the day this way:

“The Great Greenbrier River Race may be my favorite race of all. The spirit of the race is beautiful – the town, the people, the live music, the amazing food, warm up exercise/dancing in front of the gazebo to live music before the race begins, and finally, the river.

“Every year the river is different – you never know what it will be. So high and fast that you fly downstream and have to watch you don’t miss the take-out, or maybe so low that some people have to get out of their boats and pull them in spots. Or, it can be just perfect, with the blue sky, white clouds, and colorful boats behind and in front as far as your eye can see (if you are a middle-of-the packer like me). When I was on the river, I just kept feeling so lucky just to be there…”

The race begins on Main Street in Marlinton for the three mile run portion. Team members or solo entrants will run to the Greenbrier River Trail, turn left, and go north to the turnaround. Arriving back to the river bank, canoes and kayaks hit the water for a four-mile paddle downstream to Buckeye.

Volunteers will be on hand to tend to the boats, as the racers make their way to the Greenbrier River Trail for the 10-mile biking portion of the race.

Riders will go south for three miles to the turnaround, then bike north for seven miles, returning to Main Street and the finish line.

As this race has grown over the years, the need for volunteers has increased, as well.

Photo by Suzanne Stewart
The Great Greenbrier River Race begins with runners in downtown Marlinton and ends with cyclists returning to the start.

Race Director Brenda Cochran said the volunteers make the race successful.

“We have the best group of volunteers anywhere in the world,” she said. “I would put them up against anybody. It’s just a group of people that we grab who love the race. They all pull it together and make it happen. I couldn’t do it without all of them.”

Net proceeds from the race go to the Greenbrier River Trail Association, a private non-profit advocacy group dedicated to improving and promoting the Greenbrier River Trail and related facilities.

Note that in the event of high water, the race will be changed to a Run/Bike/ Run course.

More Information

You must be registered by April 13, 2018.  All racers must sign a liability release at packet pick up, or on race day in order to participate in the race.  

Parents must sign for children under the age of 18.  There will be a man-datory race meeting prior to the race at 10:30 a.m. at the Gazebo in Marlinton. The race will begin promptly at 11 a.m.

Packet pick-up Friday night at the Marlinton Municipal Building on Second Avenue from 4 to 8 p.m.

Pocahontas County Archery Team will have a Spaghetti Dinner Friday night at Marlinton Middle School, on Rt. 219 approximately two miles South of Marlinton.

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