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.