SOAR gearing up for 5K Fit + Grit

Abigail Gibson

PIKEVILLE — Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) is gearing up for its second annual 5K race to be held in Pikeville on June 4 at 2 p.m.


The SOAR 5K Fit + Grit will kick off SOAR’s Mountain Grit Campaign.


“During the Mountain Grit Campaign we will celebrate the grit found in our communities and the many ways that people work together to uplift the region,” SOAR Public Health Advisor Jenna Meyer said.


Free T-shirts will be awarded to the first 100 registered runners. All participants will receive a finisher medal, loaded race bags and prizes will be awarded to the top ten finishers.


“As we work with communities in eastern Kentucky to improve opportunities and overall wellness, we want to encourage everyone to come out and walk,” Meyer said. “This race is a great opportunity to improve your health, as well as the health of the region.”


The event will feature live entertainment, yoga demonstrations, health screenings and booths that highlight the region’s many attractions and healthy living organizations.


“We began hosting a SOAR 5K to encourage and promote physical activity, community engagement and collaboration across multiple sectors,” she added.


Over 250 runners are expected to run in the race and enjoy the festivities.


SOAR is a network which has united Appalachia’s 54 counties, enabling community members to shape their own future.


Their mission is to expand job creation, enhance regional opportunity, innovation and identity, improve the quality of life, and support all those working to achieve their goals.


All funds raised will be used to fund grants to organizations working to improve the health and wellness of eastern Kentucky. The grants will be awarded on August 4 at the SOAR Summit.


Meyer said the race would not be possible without community support and sponsors.


Sponsors include: Community Trust Bank, GU Energy, Passport Health Plan, University of Kentucky and University of Louisville. Sponsorships are still available, to be a sponsor call 606-766-1160 or email


For more information or to register, visit or call 606-766-1160.