Despite dreary weather, more than 100 runners turned out to the 16th annual Relic Run 5K at the C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa Saturday morning.
The C.H. Nash Museum is part of the University of Memphis and sits on the grounds of a Native American temple mound complex that dates back to the 15th century, according to Director Robert Connolly.
“We primarily interpret the Native American prehistory of the area,” Connolly said. “Most people think of it as being a Native American area primarily, but there was also a plantation at the bottom of the areas around the site as well as sharecroppers farming the area during the 1930s.”
“We try to stay on the pavement as much as possible because it’s more of a fun run, and we don’t want it to turn into a trail run necessarily,” Harris said. “We try to keep it on the flat surfaces so it’s good for people of a lot of ages, racing styles and speeds.”
Harris, who has worked with the race for the past three years, said about 150 people preregistered for the race, and 20 to 40 people registered that morning.
Museum staff works with the Memphis Runners Track Club (MRTC) to put on the race every year. While the C.H. Nash Museum organized runners, the MRTC set up the course and kept track of finishing times.
Wain Rubenstein, director of new races for MRTC, said the race got its start when the museum expressed interest in hosting a race to benefit the museum.
“The first year, they had about 25 people show up, but to their credit, they’ve persevered,” Rubenstein said. “One of the issues out here is that it’s kind of far out, not a lot of people are familiar with it and there are other races going on this weekend.”
Funds raised from the race typically go toward educational outreach activities for students at the museum.
“A couple of years ago, we used the funds from the Relic Run to buy these prehistoric hunting tools called atlatl,” Connolly said. “We use them to this day. People can come and throw spears with these prehistoric tools.”
Connolly hopes that funds from this year will go toward updating the hands-on archaeology lab.
Results from the race will be posted within the week.