Main Street in Travelers Rest will be abuzz with runners and their cheering teammates on the afternoon of April 13th. Teams of runners near the end of a 75-mile odyssey that started in Asheville and will finish roughly 12 hours later in downtown Greenville will be passing through TR that afternoon. The Ville to Ville Craft Brew Relay is only in its second year, but already one of the most popular races of its kind in the nation.
This unique relay is designed to celebrate the region’s outstanding craft beer tradition and its majestic natural beauty. “Our goal,” states race director, Zack Hall, “is to deliver a high-quality event that encourages healthy living and celebrates our local communities.”
Teams of six runners will each run two legs, ranging from 3.5 miles to slightly less than 9 miles, along the course. Every team will utilize a support vehicle along the 75-mile course, transporting runners from one designated transition area to the next. The first leg will run from Highland Brewing Company in Asheville to the popular Mountains to Sea Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway before turning south. Stops along the course include Fletcher, Hendersonville, East Flat Rock and Travelers Rest as runners race towards a festive finish line celebration in downtown Greenville. In total, two thousand runners and beer enthusiasts from 31 states are represented.
“Travelers Rest has become a destination point for races and outdoor enthusiasts who want to spend time in a beautiful and vibrant community,” said Brandy Amidon, Mayor of Travelers Rest. “We welcome Ville to Ville participants and look forward to hosting them with pure Southern hospitality,” she added.
The event is presented by The Cliffs, a collection of seven luxury Carolina mountain communities. “The Ville to Ville Craft Brew Relay stretches from Asheville to Greenville, highlighting the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain region of the Carolinas, where our seven communities are located,” said David Sawyer, managing partner and president of The Cliffs Clubs. “We are excited to be a sponsor of this year’s event and welcome participants from all over the country to The Cliffs. The Cliffs at Mountain Park will serve as one of the race transitions, where we look forward to supporting the runners and our talented local craft breweries.”
With a commitment to benefiting local charities, The Ville to Ville Craft Relay delivers more than just a good time for its participants. This year’s charity partners are: Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Carolinas, Poe Mill Achievement Center, Meals on Wheels of Greenville, and the YMCA of Greenville Foundation.
Similar relay races exist across the nation; however, very few have a focus on craft beer – or have such a demand for a spot on the starting line. The fact that the 2019 race sold out in less than 36 hours is a testament to its popularity. “We continue to be thrilled by the overwhelming response,” said Hall.
Although the race is sold out, the event is open to the public and can be experienced best locally at Beechwood Farms or Swamp Rabbit Brewery from 2 pm to 5 pm.
The finish line celebration in Greenville is also open to the public and will feature food trucks, live music, and of course lots of local craft beer. Finish Line festivities run from 3 pm to 9 pm at 111 Welborn Street.
Registration for the 2020 event begins on April 15th with a limited number of 350 team slots. More information about the relay can be found at www.villetovillerelay.com.