ROANOKE, Va., May 22, 2008 – The Appalachian Power Festival Run continues to gain in popularity among runners of all levels of competition. This year’s run is also drawing a fair amount of interest from couples and families who enjoy running together.   
Saturday, May 24, at 8 a.m., when the race gets underway in downtown Roanoke, Nancy and Phil Wecker, will be among many couples who entered the race to run together. The Weckers, ages 74 and 72, respectively, are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this year. Mary and David Wilson, 38 and 39, respectively, are relatively new to the running scene with only one prior run under their belts, but that’s one more than Tracy Keir, 33, who is running with her husband Peter, 41. They’re running together, and with their best friends.
Although the race always attracts expert runners, emerging elementary school competitors continue to look to the Appalachian Power Festival Run as a starting point for their running careers. This year teams from Crystal Spring Elementary School, Grandin Road Elementary School, Clearbrook Elementary School, Oak Grove Elementary School and Green Valley Elementary School entered. The schools bring a total of 61 students and 41 adults to the 2008 run.
“We´re pleased to be a part of this long-standing event that reflects so positively on Roanoke and the community,” said Terry Hall, Appalachian Power external affairs manager. “The event is known as a run for everyone. Lots of people make this their first run and then stick to it for years. It´s rewarding to see a large number of couples who are enjoying the event together this year.”
More than 100 volunteers annually deliver hundreds of hours of labor to make this event a success. In addition to Event Zone and Virginia Amateur Sports professionals, the race coordinators greatly appreciate the volunteer effort of Appalachian Power employees and retirees, the community, media volunteers, school athletic groups and others, Hall said. In particular, the efforts of the Star City Striders, who assist at the start and finish lines and compile race results, should be recognized.
The 27th annual Appalachian Power Festival Run begins at 8 a.m., Saturday, May 24, on Jefferson Street in downtown Roanoke and concludes on Bullitt Avenue between Jefferson and First streets. Awards and programs will be held at the stage in Elmwood Park.
Registration will be accepted the morning of the race. The fee is $28. To register for the Appalachian Power Festival Run, contact Tammi Jewell, at Virginia Amateur Sports at 540-343-0987 or on-line at www.commonwealthgames.org .
Appalachian Power provides electricity to 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is a unit of American Electric Power, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 36,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. 

Todd Burns, Appalachian Power
corporate communications

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