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Half marathon held on Pine Mountain

Ky. (WYMT) - Promoting health and tourism in the area. That is what organizers said their goals were in holding the first ever Master of the Mountain Half Marathon Trail run Saturday morning.

The participants signed up to run for different reasons.

"It's good. It's healthy," said Lori Payne, a runner.

"Mainly just to find out who I am. I like to push myself," said Dustin Greene, a runner.

And one runner, Jose Sanchez-Gallego, is from Spain. He has ran in similar events in four countries, but says this run is different.

"This is one of my first trail marathons. It's very, very nice. It's probably the nicest race that I've run because the place has been so beautiful," Sanchez-Gallego said.

Organizers say there were multiple reasons to hold the first ever Master of the Mountain Trail Run along the top of Pine Mountain, which is on the Little Shepherd Trail and spans from Letcher to Harlan County. One of those goals, they say, is to encourage good health across our region.

They also say another reason for holding the half marathon is to promote tourism in the area, by bringing in folks like Lori Payne, who drove 2 and a half hours from Tennessee to compete in the race.

"I'm staying at a local hotel and I will be visiting and eating at some of your restaurants," Payne said.

Race officials say the money raised from the event will fund the continued development of the foot path for Pine Mountain Trail.

"As the economy has struggled and sources of revenue have dried up, we have to do something to generate the money we need to build the trail," said Shad Baker, the President of the Pine Mountain Trail Conference.

More than 100 people competed in the half marathon.

Organizers are planning to make this an annual event and say they will have another half marathon next summer.

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