Asheville is frequently featured at the top of “best of” lists, just as often for its local food scene as for being one of the nation’s top outdoor towns. The two come together with the Asheville Track Club’s Farm 2 Table 5K, a farmer’s market and family festival. This is just one of the ways that groups from different parts of the local wellness community are coming together to help spread awareness about the connection between food and fitness.
“We really wanted to bring together the idea that wellness isn’t just fitness, there’s this whole food component to it,” says event manager Leslie Grotenhuis.
The race is part of Asheville Track Club’s 2014 Grand Prix Series, but it’s open to runners of all skill levels. There is a Kids Mile Fun Run (for children ages 12) and a Firefly Dash for kids 6 and under. The Farm 2 Table 5K will be held in Fletcher Community Park, because its flat terrain makes the race accessible, says Grotenhuis. The race is held in the evening for the same reason, but also to promote the “festival” aspect of the event.
In addition to the race, there will be live music, food from local restaurants including Tupelo Honey Cafe and the Junction, as well as farm-to-table food trucks, including Gypsy Queen Cuisine, 3 Suns Bistro, and Roaming in the Raw. Farmer’s Market vendors including Highland Gourmet, Round Mountain Creamery, and Simple Bread will take part, too.
In addition to the Asheville Track Club, the event benefits local non-profit FEAST, which offers cooking classes to teach children and adults how to use seasonal produce in cooking.
“I really believe that food is the most important part of wellness, so I want people to see that fitness can be fun, that eating healthy can be fun, and that having a festival doesn’t need to be all about cotton candy,” says Grotenhuis.
The Asheville Track Club sponsors a number of ongoing programs, including a beginning running program and Run AVL a meet-up group that runs together Tuesday and Thursday nights.
The first 300 participants in the Farm2Table 5k will receive a T-shirt, and top runners will receive $200 gift certificates, from the event’s restaurant sponsors. For more information, see the website. The Farm 2 Table 5K starts at 6:00pm but events get underway at 4:30 pm on Saturday, June 28.