Cades Cove

This year’s Cades Cove Loop Lope is a success. It raised more than $100,000.

KODAK — Friends of the Smokies, an official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, raised $101,476 on Sunday at the Fifth annual Cades Cove Loop Lope, the only organized footrace that takes place inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

“It was wonderful to bring this race back to Cades Cove,” said Kathryn Hemphill, Special Projects Director at Friends of the Smokies.

“Not only does it provide runners with a unique opportunity to enjoy the Smokies, but funds raised support many programs and projects that protect the natural and historic resources of the park.”

The event sold out months ago with 750 registered participants for the 5K and 10-mile race. For runners who couldn’t be there Sunday, but wanted to support the park, a virtual race option was made available. Hemphill said this year’s race was a record-breaking success because of an increase in participation and the generous support of several area businesses.

The event was sponsored by Buddy’s bar-b-q, IHOP Sevierville-Pigeon Forge, Ole Smoky Distillery, PCS, River Sports, Denso, Bullfish Grill, Turner Homes, Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinics, English Mountain Spring Water Company, ZenEvo and Eddie’s Health Shoppe.

Friends of the Smokies offers supporters of the park a variety of fundraising events throughout the year. Details about these events, as well information on how to volunteer, make a donation and become a member of Friends of the Smokies can be found online at friendsofthesmokies.org.

— Submitted