High Bridge will host ‘Adventure Series’ races

Every year, hundreds of people sign up and take part in a series of races across the Commonwealth. The Town of Farmville will not only be part of that once again this year, but will see its role expand with the Virginia State Park Adventure Series. 

Virginia State Parks announced on Friday that High Bridge Trail State Park will be the site of three of the 25 total races, with two in June and one more in October. It gives the town a chance to host more events, as all three begin and end in the downtown area. 

“Hosting three High Bridge Trail State Park race events and having them featured in the Virginia State Park Adventure Series will continue to elevate and highlight the great recreational opportunities we have in and around Farmville,” said Farmville Mayor Brian Vincent. “These events give us the chance to not only celebrate the park, but to shine a light on all the things we have here, from restaurants to attractions to great lodging.” 

This year’s set of Farmville events start on Sunday, June 9 with the High Bridge Time Trial, a 19-mile bike race running on the gravel rail trail. It starts and ends near Three Roads Brewery. Then later in the month on Saturday, June 22, the Night Train Ultra Marathon returns. This will mark the Night Train’s seventh year in Farmville, with three options for competition. There’s the 50k race, the half marathon or the Sunset 5k to choose from. 

“New this year for the Night Train race, there will be an award for most Patriotic runner for each gender,” said Virginia State Park Promotions Manager Steve Boyd. “We, along with the event coordinators, are thankful for everyone who helps us in society. So, all Law Enforcement, Fire, EMS, Teachers, and Nurses should enter the code THANKS for a discount when they register.”

And the final race this year in Farmville will be the half marathon and 5k on Saturday, Oct. 5. It’s an out-and-back course, starting at High Bridge Trail State Park Plaza in downtown. The half marathon crosses the historic High Bridge twice. 

“Having run both the 50K Night Train Ultra and the High Bridge Half- Marathon I can attest to the caliber of these races,” Vincent said. “They are well-organized, super fun events with good people in a great outdoor setting!” 

MORE ABOUT THE ADVENTURE SERIES

People can compete in one of two categories for the adventure series. The first is the Competition Category, where you’re scored on your Top 8 race point levels. That’s based on running in all races in a given year. The Achievement Category, meanwhile, is scored on the number of races you complete. At the end of each race and the end of the season, racers in both categories will receive prizes. 

“All racers will be eligible for performance awards and random giveaways,” said High Bridge Trail State Park Manager Daniel Jordan. “We are excited to have three races that highlight different ways to enjoy the park’s trail. Whether you walk, jog or bike during the day or night for these races, we know you’ll enjoy the park while connecting with nature.” 

In terms of the benefits, they come in a couple different ways for Farmville. These racers and their families travel long distances, some from out of state. A total of 11 states were represented in last year’s competition. They fill up hotel rooms and eat at local restaurants. And then there’s the simple benefit of just drawing more people to town, to see what’s here.