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Back Mountain Trail to Host New Year’s Eve 5K

Registration Is Now Open for This Family-Friendly Race

Runners, mark your calendars for NEPA’s last race of the year. The first annual Back Mountain Trail 5K will take place on New Year’s Eve at 4 p.m. The race starts and finishes at 59 Parry Street in Luzerne.

The out-and-back course will follow the Back Mountain Trail north from Luzerne, pass the trail’s waterfall and turn around above the Rock Cut. The trail offers a crushed stone path and gentle grade that’s great for all ages and skill levels.

Race director David Bass came up with the idea because he used to attend a New Year’s Eve race in Bloomsburg every year with friends. The event hadn’t been held in a few years, so he decided to start a new tradition with the Back Mountain 5K.

“It’s something that you can bring your whole family,” explained Bass, who is also the director of the Strive Triathlon. “You don’t have to run it. It doesn’t have to be competitive. Come out for a walk. See the beauty of the trail. Bring your kids. Take your time; there’s no time limit.”

All proceeds from the race will go to the Back Mountain Trail, Riverfront Parks Committee and the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. These three nonprofits help to develop and maintain local trails in the area.

Anthracite Scenic Trails Association is the all-volunteer group behind the Back Mountain Trail. The race will help them make even more improvements to the trail in the future.

“We actually want to extend the trail,” Bass said. “We want to take you from Luzerne to Edwardsville, because in Edwardsville, you can link up to the Luzerne County Levee System. Then you can get to Kingston and Wilkes-Barre and Hunlock Creek. We’re already starting to plan for that, but we need money, and we need awareness.”

Finishers will enjoy hot chocolate, cookies and a DJ after the race. Awards will be given to the top three overall male and female finishers. The top male and female finishers in each age group will receive embroidered scarves.

Online registration is currently open. The cost is $30. Register before December 16 to receive a free hoodie courtesy of event sponsor Wet Paint Printing and Design. Day-of registration will also be available.

Visit the Back Mountain 5K’s website to see all the race-day details and to sign up.

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