CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Charleston held its annual Distance Run on Saturday morning, marking 50 years of this long tradition. This is the only 15-mile race in the United States.  

People came from all across the country to compete in all the different races, such as the 5K and the well-known 15-mile race.

The race began bright and early on Kanawha Boulevard East and ended on the University of Charleston’s Laidley field.

More than 350 people finished the 15-mile race, and many of them said it was a fun challenge.

“It was really good. It’s my best ever, and it was good. It was cool, it was comfortable,” runner Mike Smith said. “This race is a challenge anytime you run it. I run a lot of hills because there’s a lot of hills, and I run a lot. I’ve got 1,270 miles this year.”

Jessie Hogue-Morgenstern finished in second place in the overall female category for the 15-mile race. She said running this race means a lot to her personally.

“I like to try and get better. Growing up here too, it’s always fun to run in the area that you grew up in, in the area you’re familiar with. Running familiar roads that I always drove on, but now I’m running them, especially those hills, it’s fun,” Hogue-Morgenstern said.

“It’s hard, especially with the hill in the middle. That’s what makes it so challenging and fun, and it’s different from every other race out there,” Hogue-Morgenstern said. “So, it’s a really great experience.”

Another 284 people also ran in the 5k race Saturday morning as well.