Asheville Half Marathon voted best half marathon in North Carolina

Asheville Half Marathon voted best half marathon in North Carolina

The Asheville Half Marathon at Biltmore Estate recognized as Best Half Marathon in North Carolina 

The results are in! We are super excited to announce that the Asheville Half Marathon at Biltmore Estate has been recognized by RaceRaves as the top half marathon in North Carolina.

RaceRaves, the leading online race finder and reviews community for runners of all levels, has announced the winners of its “Runners Choice: Best Half Marathons in the U.S.” poll. The top race in each state was crowned based on votes from thousands of runners across the country.

Common themes among the winning events include exceptional production and on-course support, strong community involvement, and a course that showcases the beauty and attractions of the local region.

Due to the popular demand of the half marathon distance, Race Director Daphne Kirkwood, added the 13.1 event to the Asheville Marathon in 2014. The half marathon is a perfect distance for busy runners to stay motivated through the winter months to run and to be able to train for and accomplish as a spring race goal. 

“This boutique style half marathon event is purposefully limited in participant size, so we can spoil all our runners with a fantastic, memorable running experience,” says Daphne. “What a gift to show up at this event in March (after months of training in the winter months) and get to run entirely on the private estate at Biltmore! It is an unforgettable experience and we are honored to have been named the Best Half Marathon in the State of North Carolina.”

About the Asheville Half MarathonSituated on nearly 7,000 acres of private land in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Biltmore Estate is the perfect venue for a “unique, picturesque” half marathon. Run entirely on Estate grounds, the mostly paved and moderately hilly course guides runners past manicured gardens, through hardwood forests and along the French Broad River culminating with a visit to Biltmore House, the centerpiece of Biltmore Estate and, with four acres of floor space and 250 rooms, the largest privately owned home in the United States.

Asheville is a course so nice, you’ll want to run it twice — and you can with the Backyard to Backyard Challenge, in which runners complete the half marathon course on both Saturday and Sunday to earn bragging rights and exclusive swag.

 This initiative exemplifies our passion and commitment to help runners discover the best races across the country,” said RaceRaves Co-founder Mike Sohaskey. “We’re fired up by the enthusiastic response from runners nationwide, and we congratulate the Asheville Half Marathon on this well-deserved accolade.”

 The complete list of winning half marathons by state is available on RaceRaves.com. 

About RaceRaves

Founded in 2014, RaceRaves.com is the leading online race finder and reviews community for runners of all levels to share their experiences and find their next challenge.

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Help raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through Asheville Marathon & Half at Biltmore Estate

Help raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through Asheville Marathon & Half at Biltmore Estate

Asheville Marathon and Half at Biltmore Estate Teams up with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training Program 

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Named “Champion Charity” for 2020 Asheville Marathon and Half at Biltmore Estate, honoring Race Director and Lymphoma Survivor Daphne Kirkwood 

 When Asheville Marathon race director, Daphne Kirkwood selected the world’s largest nonprofit dedicated to fighting blood cancer, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) as the event’s charity partner in 2013, she had no idea that just a few years later she too would be affected by the disease and fighting for her life. Today, Kirkwood is in remission and announced LLS as the “Official Champion Charity” at the 8th annual event to take place March 21-22, 2020 at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. LLS’s iconic sports training program, Team In Training, will be bringing a nationwide team to participate in the race. 

 In June 2018, Kirkwood, an active runner, swimmer and cyclist who considered herself to be in “great shape,” went to the emergency room after experiencing unbearable pain in her lower back. After undergoing preliminary blood work, she was sent to the hospital for additional testing. Just a few hours later, she learned she had follicular lymphoma, a deadly blood cancer that usually builds up in the lymph nodes but can start in other parts of the body. She immediately began an intense chemotherapy regimen that continued for the next six months.  

 “While I was going through treatment, it was difficult for me to stay still. Physically, my body was tired, but mentally I was ready to go to war,” said Kirkwood. 

 She didn’t stop running and cycling throughout all of her treatments. Some runs turned into walks, and sometimes she could barely turn the bike pedals, but she kept up her routine and stayed as active as she could during that time.

 “Going through cancer I have realized it is the longest endurance event I will ever participate in,” she says.

 Now in remission since January 2019, Kirkwood is determined to personally fund cancer cures by joining LLS’s Team In Training program herself and forming “Team AMA” with her friends, family and race ambassadors. With her newfound perspective on the important research The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society funds, she felt compelled to invite LLS back to the Asheville Marathon and Half at Biltmore Estate to raise awareness and fundraise for cures.

 “When I received my lymphoma diagnosis I knew that it would be very important for me to learn all that I can about my cancer and then support the organization that is dedicating its research dollars to finding a cure,” said Kirkwood. “It is VERY important to me, now for my own personal reasons, that we find cures!” 

 That invitation, of course, was accepted. 

 “LLS holds high value to the race partners that welcome Team In Training into their events, but this one connects at a deeply personal level,” said Amy Moore, National Director of Team In Training. “When Daphne reached out to share the shocking news of her diagnosis and asked us to partner with her again, it was an easy ‘yes’. Our first priority was ensuring Daphne had the support and information she needed as she began treatment and sharing LLS’s resources with her. We are thankful her treatments to date have worked and she is cancer free today, and it has been a joy to plan what will be a special race weekend to celebrate Daphne and the LLS mission in a big way at the Asheville Marathon.” 

About Asheville Marathon & Half at Biltmore Estate 

The Asheville Marathon & Half at Biltmore Estate is held on and run entirely on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate, where runners will wind through paved and packed dirt roads to see hardwood forest, meadows, gardens, and extraordinary views of the Biltmore House and Estate. This is the original Asheville Marathon and first race of its kind to come to Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina; don’t miss out on being part of history at Biltmore Estate.

For more information about the Asheville Marathon & Half at Biltmore Estate, visit 

https://ashevillemarathon.com/. Follow the race on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

How you can help raise money for a great cause

Click here to learn more about becoming a fundraiser for the 2020 event.  

Click here to visit Daphne’s personal TNT  fundraising page. 

Learn more about Daphne and iDaph Events & Timing

Daphne is the owner of iDaph Events & Timing, which is based in Asheville, NC. To learn more about the iDaph team and their other events, visit their website at https://idaph.net/

Read our blog about her journey with lymphoma. 

Link to YouTube Video about Daphne’s journey with lymphoma: https://youtu.be/8Dddfl_WvI4

About Team In Training 

Team In Training is the world’s largest and most successful endurance sports fundraising and training program that raises funds through the delivery of a transformative experience that inspires and supports “teammates” through camaraderie, coaching, fundraising support and personal discovery. 

 

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Help raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through Asheville Marathon & Half at Biltmore Estate

Outracing Cancer: Daphne Kirkwood shares her personal journey with Lymphoma

“Cancer is a word, not a sentence.” – John Diamon

For Daphne Kirkwood, cancer was more like a question mark. It was the last thing she expected to hear from her doctors after finding herself lying on the hospital floor, writhing in pain. It was the kind of pain so intense she thought she had days, if not hours left to live.

“When they said it was lymphoma, I was like, ‘Cancer lymphoma? No. Cancer lymphoma?’”

An unexpected diagnosis

Daphne is the owner and race director for iDaph Events, an Asheville based company that produces cycling, running and multi-sport events, including the Asheville Marathon and Half at Biltmore Estate. A mother of two, she is also a runner, swimmer and cyclist. Her youthfulness and healthy, active lifestyle do not make her a prime candidate for any type of illness. Her cancer diagnosis was a shock, to say the least.

“That day, I did a run and swim like I normally do…and then I noticed at the office I had back pain in my lower left back,” she recalls. “Thirty minutes later, I’m at urgent care.”

Doctors found an 8×4 sized lymphoma in Daphne’s abdomen area, laying on her kidney and ureter, along with other smaller lymphomas. Her official diagnosis: Follicular Lymphoma. She was told she needed to undergo chemotherapy starting just two weeks later and continue periodically for six months with intensive chemo and then two years of maintenance chemo in order to have relief from the pain and to live. 

“I was scared. The doctors told me the chemo should work quickly, and I was in so much pain that I just wanted relief. So, I was willing to do whatever it took.”

Daphne approached her treatments like everything else in her life: She went to work. She paced the room during her chemo sessions, instead of lying down, in order to speed along the process. Being active has always been comforting for Daphne, and chemo wasn’t going to change that. 

“I noticed people who were there were all getting their treatments and sleeping, just laying around. I didn’t want to do my treatments that way,” Daphne says. “I was going to war.”

Daphne didn’t stop running and cycling throughout all of her treatments. Some runs turned into walks, and sometimes she could barely turn the bike pedals, but she kept up her routine and stayed as active as she could during that time. She also found ways to occupy her mind during the treatment sessions by journaling and writing gratitude cards to her friends and family, “so she “could be grateful, instead of scared.” 

“I learned a long time ago that gratitude and fear cannot live in the same room, in the same space.”

After six months of intense chemotherapy, the chemo had worked, and she was officially in remission.

The journey continues

Daphne’s work is far from over, as continued chemotherapy, PET scans, and checkups for two years are all part of the preventative phase of lymphoma. It is not for the faint of heart, and the chemo is draining. 

“Going through cancer I have realized it is the longest endurance event I will ever participate in,” she says.

Daphne’s cancer diagnosis was, of course, life-changing: Mortality had stared her in the face, but her years of being a runner, cyclist and swimmer prepared her for the fight. She has the stamina she needs to carry on and appreciate the milestones along the journey. Known to her friends as the “Daphanator,” she strives to live each and every day to its fullest potential, which always includes spending more time with loved ones, and growing her business.

“I ask myself often if I am living to my full potential. Am I using my gifts? Am I serving my community? Am I giving back and contributing to this life beyond myself? Am I showing up as the best mom, the best girlfriend, the best lady boss, the best small business owner that I possibly can?”

Leukemia Lymphoma Society

Before her diagnosis, Daphne chose the Leukemia Lymphoma Society (LLS) as the charity partner for her main event, the Asheville Marathon & Half at Biltmore Estate. She had no personal ties or connections with them; she just believed they were doing good work and wanted to support them. Once she received her diagnosis, she knew their relationship would take on a different meaning. 

“Leukemia Lymphoma Society is determined to find cures for lymphoma, and I am all in when it comes to that mission,” she says.  “I am 42 years young, healthy and have a long life ahead of me…

“There needs to be more than treatments. There needs to be cures.”

How you can help

Team in Training

Team in Training (TNT) participants are helping to fundraise for LLS. Please join us in supporting Daphne and all teammates who work towards a future without blood cancer. Come run with us at Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC on March 21 & 22, 2020.

BECOME A FUNDRAISER WITH TEAM IN TRAINING

Past iDaph Blogs

Miles aren’t long with friends by your side

Miles aren’t long with friends by your side

by Stephanie Miller If you’ve run a 5K in the Asheville area, chances are you’ve seen two ladies dressed in matching outfits with smiles on their faces looking like they’re having the time of their lives. They may be wearing tu-tus and tiaras, glow-in-the-dark running...

Running a race on mixed surface

Running a race on mixed surface

by Tom Mangan "Running a race on mixed surface and terrain can be better on your body during the race and for post-race recovery." How does that commercial go…I’m no doctor, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. Disclaimers away, here it goes. We runners...