Tug Valley Road Runners Club

WILLIAMSON — The Tug Valley Road Runners Club will be hosting the inaugural H.O.P.E. 5K and 1-mile walk on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. at the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College located in West Williamson. 

The H.O.P.E. run, as it was dubbed, is an acronym that stands for Helping Other People Evolve and was organized by Mingo County Fresh Start Coordinator Jessie Spaulding.

Instead of a race fee, the Road Runners Club will be accepting donations of any amount with all the proceeds being raised from the race being donated back into receovery to fight the drug addiction in Mingo County.

Participants will be able to run in the race for free if they choose or they can donate $1, $5, $10, $20 or any denomination.

Spaulding says that he came up with the idea and approached Road Runners Club President Alexis Batausa, who was immediately on board.

Spaulding is also a recovery coach for Mingo County Report, which funds the Fresh Start program.

He said that he came up with the race as a way to potentially give a struggling addict an outlet while also raising money for recovery.

The first-time event will be timed with age awards, finisher medals and T-shirts offered to participants. There will also be guest speakers as well as vendors and free barbecue cooked by Magistrates Donald Sansom and Dave Justice.

The race will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday outside of the SWVCTC with registration taking place between 7:30 and 8:45 a.m.

Jarrid McCormick is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. He can be reached by email at