TOWNSEND, Tenn. (WATE) — Runners in the Great Smoky Mountain 5k and half marathon held by Vacation Races helped raise more than $21,000 for charity over the weekend.

Vacation held the races in Townsend on Friday, September 8, and Saturday, September 9. Overall, 1,100 runners were featured in the 5k race, and another 2,000 laced up their shoes to take part in the half marathon.

In addition to participating in the race, runners had the chance to give to charity.

“Runners are able to select a charity to raise money for that charity – at this particular race we have raised $21,000,” said Kelly Miyahara.

Vacation Races holds 5k, half marathon and marathons at national parks across the country and in several countries around the world. Miyahara explained that the Great Smoky Mountain Race was extremely popular, selling out long before the race began.

“This was sold out long before. We love the attendance here – people are so excited to be here. We had so many people come up today and ask – can I sign up now, unfortunately, we were sold out, but it was a really great turnout,” she said.

A variety of nonprofits benefit from Vacation races, including the Semper Fi & America’s Fund, Bigger Than the Trail, The Wilderness Society, and The Grand Teton National Park Foundation.

To learn more about Vacation Races and the organizations it supports, visit