13th annual 5K races to Mountain Heritage Day

On Saturday, Sept. 24, the 13th Annual Mountain Heritage Day kicked off with the 5K race around the Western Carolina University campus.

Each year the festival kicks off with a race open to the general public. With seven different age categories, there was plenty of room for participants to have a chance to win a handcrafted medal created by Mud Dabbers Pottery & Craft, located in Balsam, NC.  

The winner of the female open was Tracy Austin, with a time of 20:56.6. The Male Open was led by winner Alex Daniels, with a time of 16:55.7. 

Cole Swade finished third overall in the race with a time of 18:44.2.  

“It felt nice to see that I still have some speed,” Swade wrote in an email to The Carolinian.  

Swade comes from a running family. His mother, an ultramarathoner, was the one to promote running to Cole. While he did not practice for this event, he thought it would be a good opportunity to meet new people. 

“This is the first time I did this race and I enjoyed it more than most of the 5K’s I’ve done before,” Swade wrote in the email.  

The full results of the race can be found here.