Countdown ticking toward 45th Annual Charleston Distance Run

The Charleston Distance Run returns Saturday, Sept. 2, for its 45th year. (WCHS/WVAH File Photo)

The sultry days of summer mean more than just humid conditions in the Kanawha Valley. It means it’s almost time for a capital city tradition – the Charleston Distance Run – now in its 45th year.

America’s 15-miler returns 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 2, to test the will and fitness of runners on a challenging course that has attracted such running greats as Bill Rodgers, Frank Shorter and Greta Waitz.

Starting on Kanawha Boulevard across from the West Virginia Capitol , the 15-mile course includes flat stretches that take competitors through downtown streets along the Kanawha River, through the punishing South Hills section, including a climb up U.S. 119 – known as Capital Punishment Hill – before returning downtown and finishing at Laidley Field.

Competitors can choose between the 15-mile race, the three-person 15-mile relay and the 5K Run and 5K Walk.

Online registration and an application can be found here. Information about the race is available at the CDR website here.

Construction at the Charleston Civic Center, the traditional site for the packet pickup and pasta dinner the day before the race, has led to a major change. There will be a new packet pickup location – Beni Kedem Temple on Quarrier Street – and a new caterer for the pasta dinner – Paterno’s at the Park. This year’s packet pickup will begin at 3 p.m. (an hour earlier than previous years) on Friday, Sept. 1, and will last until 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, the CDR will again offer the free Children’s Fun Run for kids ages 4 to 12. The race begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1, on Clendenin Street and will loop between Quarrier and Lee streets. On-site registration will be available from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. that day at Beni Kedem Temple. Questions also can be emailed to Kelsey Gilbert at, and mailed to Kelsey Gilbert, 200 Baker Lane, Charleston, WV 25302. More details and the application are below.

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