Who’s idea was this, anyway?
Jim Brendle – Race Director
Jim grew up running in the woods of North Carolina, and he quickly fell in love with the wild places he explored as a kid. After running the Hood to Coast in Oregon, he was inspired to create a relay that would share the places that meant so much to him growing up. The first Smoky Mountain Relay happened in April of 2009, and it has been faithfully produced ever since.
Jim is the owner of Sourwood Running which designs, organizes, and administers The Smoky Mountain Relay in Western North Carolina and The Wild Rogue Relay in Southern Oregon. Jim has participated in numerous marathons and relays across the country and has a real passion for the overnight relay. Jim moved to the Rogue Valley in 1988 to work as a Pharmaceutical Representative.
Leslie and Tim Grotenhuis – Race Directors at Kick It Event Management
We are thrilled to be joining Jim in putting on the 2019 Smoky Mountain Relay! We got our start managing races way back in 2006 when Tim volunteered to manage and revive the languishing Thomas Wolfe 8K, Asheville’s oldest running event, for the Asheville Track Club.
After hearing about our involvement in the Asheville Track Club, another super-involved parent, convinced us to begin a fun run for the school.
We said “Yes!” and came up with the Isaac Dickson Elementary School Hot Chocolate 10k and 1k Hill Climb! After our third year as directors of the TW8K, we moved on and focused solely on the IDES Hot Chocolate runs on a volunteer basis.
As luck would have it (and with a good helping of determination) that “little fundraiser” became extremely important to the school. Now in our twelve year, it has also become one of the Asheville running community’s favorite events, having been voted the Best Foot Race in Western North Carolina (10k and under) two years in row! Soon after we started Kick It Event Management to bring our unique skillset to other groups in need.
We continue to grow and add on new events every year. We always strive to put on the best events possible. This means doing our best to predict the future and plan ahead; To be proactive and NOT reactive. We consider an event a success when we are able to put on a safe event that benefits the community and provides fun for most of our participants. Simple as that!