BOONE — On your marks, get set, maranon!
Boone’s Cultural Resources Department is putting on the inaugural Jimmy Smith Maranon (a non-marathon) and Street Party on Sept. 14 from 6 to 9 p.m.
The maranon will be a loop around Jimmy Smith Park on Rivers Street, a total of 333 feet, and the winner will be determined from a drawing of participants’ names that day.
“Almost everyone can be walked or be pushed 333 feet,” said Pilar Fotta, town of Boone cultural resources director. “I wanted to do something where everyone could participate, even people who wouldn’t normally participate in what you would consider an athletic event.”
Part of the Cultural Resources Department’s purpose is to inform community members and visitors of the people who made “Boone, what Boone is today,” Fotta said, so putting on a “run” in honor of Smith’s contributions to Boone was a no-brainer.
Smith was a Boone Town Council member who Fotta remembers as a person who made sure everyone was heard and understood. To Fotta, Smith was a pro at finding compromise between the town and university. While he served on the council, Smith was a professor at ASU as well.
A park, an ASU dining hall and a waste water treatment facility were named after Smith to honor his contributions to the university and to the town. Smith helped to developed ASU’s freshman seminar program and helped design an introductory math course, which he later won an award for, according to the Jones House’s website.
When visitors and students come to Boone, Fotta said she wants them to know who Smith was and why he was an important figure in Boone history. In putting on the maranon, Fotta said she also wants people to feel included, which is something that Smith always ensured.
Fotta said she understood what it was like to enjoy an athletic event without joining in on the physical activity when she attended the Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, S.C. Fotta could not run at the time, but still participated in the festivities after the race and said she had an enjoyable time.
Because of that experience, Fotta thought to combine an educational opportunity with an inclusive activity to create the maranon fun run and street party.
A maranon participant even told Fotta that due to a back injury, this is the first race she will participate in, and already looks forward to hanging up her race bib.
“That was a lot of fun for us just to reach out to a group that sometimes feels like they can’t be involved in something like this,” Fotta said.
Following the maranon, there will be a street party at Jimmy Smith Park and South Depot Street. Dave Brewer’s Foscoe Four will bring the tunes, The Cardinal Food Truck will offer local fare and Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Booneshine and Lost Province will have local beers available. Twist the Balloon man will join the street party and bring his balloon entertainment.
To participate in the maranon, call the Jones House at (828) 262-6280, visit www.joneshouse.org or visit the Jones House in downtown Boone. Participants are asked to make a $20 donation in cash or check to receive a race bib, a long-sleeve T-shirt and a .00333K sticker. The street party is open to the public, and the food truck and breweries are a separate cost from the maranon.