BLOWING ROCK -- Combine your love of wine, craft brews and running in the name of a great charity. To date, more than 140 participants have already signed up for Chetola Resort’s Corkscrew & Brew 5K (formerly known as the Corkscrew 5K), which returns for its 5th year beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 22, bringing craft beer to the race tables courtesy of the award-winning Boone-based Appalachian Mountain Brewery.
Fast becoming one of the signature events of the SAVOR Blowing Rock festival (April 20-23), the race takes a page out of the festival’s mission of celebrating the area’s best food and drink, with a division featuring four “hydrating” stations with the runner’s choice of a shot of Timberlake’s wine or AMB beer (must be 21 or older with ID). Because not everyone likes an early morning booze run, the Corkscrew & Brew also serves up a Wine & Beer Free division for those folks who don’t have the “it’s 5-o’clock somewhere” mentality, but relish the spirited atmosphere and the scenic course.
The race once again welcomes the return of veteran race emcee Gary Butts and professional timing by Andrew Marsh’s Event Mercenaries, Inc. Butts has been with the race since its inaugural debut in 2013, when 97 people tackled the course for the first time. Over the years the race has grown to include more than 200 people and has raised $7,000 that has been distributed to local organizations include the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and the Blowing Rock Chapter of Girls on the Run.
Proceeds from this year’s event will go towards helping the family of Luke Sponds, a 3-year-old from Valle Crucis with spastic, quadriplegia cerebral palsy, purchase a service dog to aid in Luke's socialization and interaction at home and school.
Luke’s mother, Saskia van de Gevel-Spond, says her son “loves reading board books, hiking in a stroller, and swinging at Valle Crucis Community Park,” but that Luke “has difficulty with motor skills and oral communication, needing assistance to sit, stand or walk.” With Luke craving independence but struggling with mobility, “Our hope,” said van de Gevel-Spond, “is a highly, specially trained dog could assist Luke with mobility in a wheelchair or in a walker. The mobility assistance dog could help Luke open doors, pick up objects and carry his school backpack. It would help our family feel secure that Luke will be able to be with the caring, service dog at school and help him through the challenging times when we can’t be at school."
Chetola’s Wellness Director, Gary Woolard, is in his fifth year as the Corkscrew’s race director and says this year’s race feels especially exciting.
“With the addition of AMB, the support of our sponsors and the community coming together to contribute to an exceptional cause for a local family, we look forward to this being our best 5K yet," Woolard said.
Early packet pick-up will be available Friday, April 21, from 4-7pm in the Recreation Center. Saturday morning check-in and packet pick-up will be held from 8 to 8:50 a.m. in the Timberlake’s upper parking lot.
The 5K run begins promptly at 9 a.m. in the lower lot. The challenging, undulating 3.1-mile course takes runners throughout the picturesque Chetola grounds, circles the condominiums and winds around Chetola Lake. The race ends on a downhill and funnels back into the upper Timberlake’s lot.
Medals will be presented to the overall male and female finishers, the overall male and female masters finishers, and in the Wine/Beer-Free division the top two male and female finishers in age categories ranging from under 14 to 70 and over. In the Wine/Beer-Lovers division, medals will also be given to the top two male and female finishers in age categories from age 21 to 70.
An outdoor Mimosa/Bloody Mary bar will be open from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. for spectators and post-race libations. Music is also provided by Butts.
The Corkscrew & Brew thanks all of its sponsors and partners who are donating time, marketing efforts, food, drinks and prizes, including SAVOR Blowing Rock, AMB, Be Natural Market, Grandfather Vineyard & Winery, High Gravity Adventures, Kilwins, Mellow Mushroom, Stick Boy Kitchen and Zap Fitness.
The registration fee is $25 ($35 on race day) for Wine & Beer Free; and $30 ($40 on race day) for Wine & Beer Lovers. The fee includes a collectible long-sleeve race shirt for anyone who registers by Tuesday, April 3, finisher medals, food, water, and prizes from local retailers and adventure outlets.
Because this event serves alcohol, local laws and ordinances apply. Participation in the Wine & Beer Lovers division is limited to those who are 21 years of age or older. A valid proof of age ID will be required to receive a wrist band that signifies an approved participant.
“Luke is our sweet, fun and loving 3-year-old son who enjoys being in the company of others, especially his family and familiar friends," said his monther, Saskia van de Gevel-Spond, Associate Professor, North Carolina Geographic Alliance Coordinator, Department of Geography and Planning, Appalachian State University. "He also enjoys playing musical instruments and the smile on his face after an accomplishment is priceless.
"Luke was born at 34 weeks after an emergency C-section. He was not breathing for six minutes and was flown by medical helicopter to the NICU at Wake Forest Brenner Children's Hospital. Luke spent 63 days in the NICU and had three surgeries. Luke has since been diagnosed with spastic, quadriplegia cerebral palsy.
"We don't know what assistance Luke will need in two years, five years, or 10 years. The service dog will make a big difference in Luke's daily life at home and at school. Often, children in wheelchairs may be ignored by their peers because they are different. We hope that the service dog will help Luke's socialization and community involvement in addition to helping him with physical tasks at school.
"We have begun our journey with the organization '4 Paws for Ability,' founded in 1998. It is a non-profit organization based in Ohio that specializes in training and providing service dogs to primarily children with disabilities. Our family needs to raise $17,000 to help Luke obtain his mobility assistance dog.”
For more information on the Corkscrew and Brew 5-K, call the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce at (828) 295-7851, or visit www.savorblowingrock.com.