Who’s Idea Was The Smoky Mountain Relay Anyway?

Jim Brendle – Sourwood Running

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 created The Smoky Mountain Relay in Western North Carolina and currently manages 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.

Picture of Tim and Leslie Grotenhuis

Leslie and Tim Grotenhuis – Kick It Events 

In 2019, Kick It Event Management, owned by Leslie and Tim Grotenhuis, took over some aspects of the Smoky Mountain Relay and are thrilled to be working with Jim Brendle and Sourwood running for the next few years to ensure a smooth transition into owning this event.

Kick It Events is an Asheville, NC based event management company which owns classic area events such at the Thomas Wolfe 8k, Asheville Independence Day 5k, Chasing Trail 8k and the Oktoberfest Half Marathon.  We also race direct the Asheville Hot Chocolate Races, Catawba White Zombie 5k and Art Dash 5k.

Rhianna Scott joined our team in 2018 and has helped us grow.