PRESS RELEASE: The Franklin Half Marathon Officially Changes Name to “Hillbilly Half Marathon”
Takes Over Leiper’s Fork for 4th Annual Event,
Saturday, June 4, 2016
Registration Opens Saturday, February 6 at 10am Central
Leiper’s Fork, TN (February 2016) – Organizers are pleased to announce that the fourth running of the Franklin Half Marathon will have a new look this year. Scheduled for Saturday, June 4, 2016, in Leipers Fork, TN, the race has officially changed its name to the “Hillbilly Half Marathon,” due to the popularity of the heckling “hillbilly” pickers that surprised runners in last year’s race.
The humorous viral video, shot by Leiper’s Fork resident April Cantrell, has been viewed over three million times on Facebook and YouTube and was featured in the media in such outlets as The Tennessean, Fox17, Williamson Source and Jack on the Web/CBSlocal. The video shows runners on Bailey Road, just before the turn-around point that sends them back to Leiper’s Creek. The hecklers played the iconic tune from “Deliverance” while shouting suggestive taunts reminiscent of the 1972 thriller.
While the term “hillbilly” generally has a negative connotation, it has also been embraced by self-identified hillbillies and can be a term of endearment or even pride. In fact, the name change was brought forward by the Leiper’s Fork community.
“Leaders and business owners from the community met with me to discuss the future of the race,” said race director and founder of the Franklin Half Marathon, Andy Johnson. “They thought the name should be more indicative of the colorful personalities who call Leiper’s Fork home. We landed on Hill-billy as a double meaning for the hecklers and the hills the runners have to traverse to get back to civilization,” Johnson added.
With a cap of 2,000 runners, organizers are expecting this scenic yet challenging course through the pristine back country of Williamson County, TN to be a complete sell out. “We expect this year’s race to sell out because the viral video has helped to put our race on the map. We have had inquiries from all over the country,” he said.
About the Hillbilly Half Marathon
Founded in 2013, as the Franklin Half Marathon, this race has been touted as one of the most difficult, yet scenic races in the Southeast. Last year it was host to the RRCA Tennessee State Championships. The course record for males was set in 2015 by Scott Wietecha with a time of 1:16:53 and females in 2013 by Ashley Evans with a time of 1:27:39. Renamed to Hillbilly Half Marathon in 2016.