Tomorrow morning Barry and I will be running the 20th Annual Varmint 1/2 Marathon in Burkes Garden. This race has a pretty neat back story and I’m excited the race is finally here so I can share the story with you!
There’s a reason this race is called “The Varmint”. Back in 1952 a coyote terrorized the Burkes Garden community, killing over 400 sheep and causing over $32,000 in damages. The coyote was referred to by the residents of Burkes Garden as “The Varmint”. It was finally killed when residents hired a bounty hunter. It is now on display in the Crab Orchard Museum in Tazewell.
|This is pretty large for a coyote|
This back story is where the race gets it’s namesake. But there’s more. People who place in their age group, as well as overall winners of the race, receive trophies in the shape of sheep to commemorate the destruction caused by The Varmint. Aside from the beautiful, but challenging course, people often flock (yes… pun intended) to this race for the coveted sheep trophies.
Barry and I ran this race last year and we were lucky enough to bring home some sheep trophies. I placed second in my age group and Barry placed third in his. Technically I was third in mine, but I bumped up because the first place girl in my age group pulled for an overall award.
Later that day we had to make a trip over to the Crab Orchard Museum and get our picture with our sheep next to the Varmint.
So now we are going back again in pursuit of more sheep for our mantle. The race continues to grow each year, so I expect it will be more competitive than last year. My main goal is to beat my time from last year (2:15:59). I am also, of course, hoping to place in my age group. I know Barry will be competitive in his age group and I can’t wait to see how he does tomorrow!
What are your weekend plans?
Anyone else racing this weekend? Good luck!
Have you ever run a race that has a back story like The Varmint?