Southwest Virginia Salem Distance Run returns to Virginia’s Blue Ridge

The 44th annual Salem Distance Run is scheduled for Saturday, August 11, and organizers are pleased to announce that Health Focus of Southwest Virginia is back as the title sponsor.

The 5K and 10K events will start on Main Street in Downtown Salem and end at Longwood Park on East Main Street. The races begin at 8 a.m. and the entry fee is $30 for the 10K race and $25 for the 5K run/walk. The top three male and female finishers in each division of each race will receive prizes. Each participant also will receive a commemorative t-shirt.

The weekend gets started on Friday, August 10, with packet pick-up and registration at Longwood Park from
4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday, runners can arrive as early as 6:30 a.m. to register, visit the vendors, enjoy music and meet the event’s celebrity runner, Michael Wardian, an ultra-marathon runner from Arlington, who is back for his fourth straight year as our special guest.

Wardian was the USA Track & Field runner of the year in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 the International Association Ultra- Runner named him athlete of the year. He is a three-time U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier who holds a silver medal in the World 100k Championships. This year he has taken two firsts and a second in The North Face Endurance Challenges 50-Miler races in Washington, D.C., Costa Rica and Ecuador.

The Salem Parks and Recreation Department and Health Focus of Southwest Virginia are presenting this year’s races. Please note that an additional $5 charge is applicable for entries received after August 4. To secure an application, register or obtain additional information please contact Ashley Durkin, Salem Parks and Recreation Special Events Supervisor. You can reach her at and 540-375-3057.

-Submitted by Mike Stevens, City of Salem Communications Director

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