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 skirts, or the traditional dirndl.

Wherever you see them running, you can bet that Kim Walker, 64, and Melissa Drennan, 49, are bringing the fun. 

“You can pretty much run in anything, even a coconut bra,” said Melissa. “Just make sure the costume doesn’t chafe.”

This comment is followed by laughter from both ladies, who have been running together in various costumes since 2014. I myself have seen them at various running events in the Asheville area, and my curiosity about their story has grown with every new costume I’ve seen. Recently,  I had the pleasure of meeting both Kim and Melissa at the YMCA to hear all about it. Their smiles are infectious as we talked about their ongoing friendship, running, and their love for costumes (and beer). 

“I love the camaraderie,” said Kim. “I’ve met so many wonderful women through running that I wouldn’t necessarily have met. I thank Melissa for getting me back into running.” 

Melissa convinced Kim to sign up for the Highland Night Flight about five years ago. Kim was a mountain biker and hadn’t been running much, but she loved the idea of a glow-in-the-dark type run …and also the beer at the end. 

“We loved the glow in the dark idea,” Kim said, then adds: “What can I say? Beer, darkness, glow in the dark… we’re in!” 

After that race, they kept the running and beer theme going and joined Race to the Taps. Then, it was on to the Cooper River Bridge Run, the Trick or Trail 5K, Thomas Wolfe 8K, the Resolution Run, the downtown Turkey Trot, Light Up the Night 5K…They estimate they’ve run about 24 races together.

“About two cases of beer-ish,” added Kim, and they laugh again. 

I’m starting to think that I want to dress up in costume and run with these ladies. 

“Everyone is so encouraging,” said Melissa. “When you’re in costume, so many people want to talk to you. It’s very supportive and fun. And so encouraging.”

From Couch to 5K

Melissa didn’t start running until she was in her 30s. A former verified couch potato, she started running on her own and signed up for 5ks to stay motivated. The support from others made her realize that not everyone needs to run a 6 minute mile to be viewed as a “runner.”

“Everyone is so supportive no matter what your skill level is,” Melissa said. Kim smiled and nodded.

“The running community is a great community,” she agreed. 

Melissa remembers the first time she ran a mile without stopping, and what a big deal that was at the time. Now, her goal is to run one half marathon a year. She has already completed a few, including one full marathon. 

Not bad for a couch potato. 

“I have come a long way since then,” she admitted.

What’s her advice for a beginner?

“Just do it!” Melissa said enthusiastically. “Sign up. Find a friend. There are so many great running groups around here. So many breweries that do run clubs…”

Ok, so….

  1. Sign up for a race
  2. Use the Buddy System

“And don’t skimp on shoes!” Melissa added. “My whole world opened up when I bought new shoes. It was like night and day!”

      3. Buy GOOD new running shoes.

Got it! 

Keeping it fun

The main reason these two ladies run, however, is because they keep it fun. Kim started running in the 1980s and ran the Chicago marathon in 1985. She completed it in 4 hours, 10 minutes and 6 seconds. 

“I was proud of that!” Kim said.  

That kind of running burnt her out though, she admitted, and with two little kids and working full time, she took a break from running and rode her bike instead. Thanks to Melissa, she is back in her running sneakers and having a great time. 

“It just kept being fun,” she said.

Now, running is more about having a good time and costume planning. Both friends sometimes travel together, and their trips often lead to “vacation races,” allowing them to see the sights while enjoying their favorite sport. 

Vacation races are a great way to explore a new city or destination, but both ladies know that running in Asheville is hard to beat. With so many beautiful places to run outdoors, it’s no wonder we have such a strong running community. 

Plus the costumes.

“Oh, the costumes make it really fun,”, Kim added, smiling. 

“Everyone thinks we’re nuts!”

No, not nuts at all. Just totally inspiring. 

Kim will be joining us at the 2020 Frostbite event! Her costume will probably be “warm,” but if you see her be sure to cheer her on! Melissa will be traveling for work at that time, but we expect to see her at another future event. 

Advice for Running in Costume

“You can’t just throw a costume on willy-nilly. You might have to wear it around the house, run down to the mailbox. Your neighbors might wonder…but it’s worth it.” ~ Kim

“Make sure the costume doesn’t chafe. And wear good shoes!” ~ Melissa

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New Year’s Resolution Run

New Year’s Resolution Run

The 6th Annual Resolution Run 10 Mile Run & 5k Run/Walk races through the streets of Downtown Asheville, NC on New Year’s Day, at a reasonable 10:00 am. Start 2020 off with a bang! This race welcomes families and participants of all ages to come run or crawl their way to completing their first resolution! Bring warm layers of clothes, tie up your running shoes, and get ready to ‘run into’ 2020!


  • Date: Wednesday, January 1st, 2020 @ 10:00am
  • Location: Pack Square, Downtown, Asheville, NC



New Year’s Resolution Run

2020 New Year’s Resolution Run Event Information

Welcome New Year’s Resolution Runners! We can’t wait to see you kick off 2020 with us! Here’s what you need to know for the event. 

PLEASE NOTE: At 1 ½ miles the course splits and the 5k turns left onto Evelyn Place at the first water station and the 10 mile runners will get on the side walk and run straight on Kimberly Avenue.

Pre Packet Pick-up will be Tuesday, December 31st, 2020, 2-4 pm, at our presenting sponsor’s office, BAIRD Hilliard-Lyons Baird (79 Woodfin Place #103, Asheville NC) on New Year’s Eve. Be sure to thank them and our other major sponsor, AlignLife East Asheville, for helping to make this event possible! 


Pre-Packet Pick Up:

When: Tuesday, December 31st, 2020 2-4 pm
Where:  Hilliard-Lyons Baird, 79 Woodfin Pl #103, Asheville, NC

The first 250 participants to pick up their bib at Packet Pickup on New Year’s Eve AT BAIRD, will get one of these 2020 Spirited Headbands!

Race Day Packet Pick-Up

When: Wednesday, January 1st, 2020 (Race Day) 8:00-9:30am

Where: Pack Square Park (Race Hub) at 121 College St, Asheville, NC 28801

You may purchase Short & Long Sleeve T-shirts for $10 at the registration/check in tables while supplies last!
 Please note, if you plan to switch races, the deadline to make this switch is ​Thursday, December 26th at midnight! ​​

‘Tis the season of giving!

‘Tis the season of giving! What better way than to bring a pair of new or gently used tennis shoes to the race to donate to Western Carolina Rescue Ministries. WCRM, is hosting a shoe drive during packet pick-up and on race day. All attendees are encouraged to bring tennis shoes to donate in support of WCRM’s annual Foot Care Clinic.



8 to 9:30 am – Packet pick up and registration will be at Pack Square Park (Race Hub)

9:00 am – Food available (burritos) from Baad Sheep Burritos, and there will be snacks! 

10:00 am – Race starts at the intersection of Spruce Street & College Street (beside Pack Square)

11:30 am – (approximately) 5k Awards Ceremonies held near finish area on stage in Pack Square Park

12:00 pm – (approximately) 10 Mile Awards Ceremonies held near finish area on stage in Pack Square Park

12:30 pm – Course cutoff - participants may continue but will be unassisted. 



Race starts at the intersection of Spruce Street & College Street (beside Pack Square)




Follow I-40 E and I-240 E to US-74 ALT E/Patton Ave in Asheville. Take exit 4B from I-240 E.


Follow I-26 E/US-19 S/US-23 S toward Asheville, Take the Patton Avenue exit on the left toward Downtown and continue onto US-74 ALT E/Patton Ave.


Follow I-40 W. Take I-240 W to US-70 E/Charlotte St in Asheville. Take exit 5B from I-240 W, Continue on US-70 E/Charlotte St. Take College St to N Pack Square.


Follow I-26 W to US-74 ALT E/Patton Ave in Asheville. Take exit 4B from I-240 E, Continue onto US-74 ALT E/Patton Ave.


Street parking is available in Downtown Asheville and parking garages will be open. 



iDaph Events Timing Services offers live results during the event, and we will have preliminary results posted online shortly after you cross the finish line. The Resolution Run is a Chip Timed event. 

VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure your bib is VISIBLE on the front of your clothing. If it is tucked underneath jackets/clothes it will not read over the timing mat. 


Results can be found on our homepage. Results will be live and updated throughout the race. 

Water Stations:

Please see map below for more details.

Water Station #1: Both 5k and 10 mile participants will pass this water station located at the corner of Evelyn & Edwin Place approximately located at mile 1.5. 10 Mile participants will pass this water station again at approximately mile 8.5.

Water Station #2: 10 Mile participants will pass this water station after crossing Merrimon Avenue and entering the dirt bath around Beaver Lake, located approximately at mile 5. 


Port-a-Jons will be located at Pack Square Park near the Start & Finish Line. Additional restrooms are located in the visitors center next to the Start Line. 


Celebrate with us!

Join us for awards, food and hot beverages after you cross the finish line!

Awards Ceremony

11:30 am (approximately)

5k Awards Ceremonies held near finish area in Pack Square Park


12:00 pm (approximately)

10 Mile Awards Ceremonies held near finish area on stage in Pack Square Park


12:30 pm

Course cutoff - participants may continue but will be unassisted.

Bring cash or card and enjoy some delicious post-event treats!

Baa’d Sheep Burritos will be at the 2020 New Year’s Resolution Run to serve up their delicious breakfast and lunch burritos! Stop by for a hot beverage or yummy meal and/or snack and add even MORE greatness to your New Year’s Day!  Baa’d Sheep Burritos is an independent, family owned burrito restaurant in Mars Hill, NC serving the freshest ingredients in their creative recipes.

Bare Bones Brew Haus will be serving up their European style coffee and other hot beverages. Be sure to stop by for some of the best locally roasted coffees — European cart style!

Give your body some love and enjoy a massage by YAM Yoga and Massage after the race! Everyone is welcome to participate. Please bring cash - these massages are donation based! 

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Baird presenting sponsor for iDaph Event’s 2020 New Year’s Resolution Run in downtown Asheville

Hilliard Lyons, now Baird, gives back to the community by promoting financial AND physical fitness

We are excited to announce the local Baird office (formerly Hilliard Lyons) has teamed up with iDaph Events & Timing to be the presenting sponsor of the 2020 New Year’s Resolution Run in downtown Asheville. For 100 years, Baird has been a strong, stable and trusted financial partner across generations and through many market cycles, and we feel their strong community values and support will make them an integral part of iDaph’s 2020 event.

“As the first entrée of the firm into the Asheville community, the local office is excited to promote a healthy lifestyle along with giving back to the community,” says Financial Advisor Julie Willard. “The benefactors of the race include the YMCA & Western Carolina Ministries. We want to ensure that our resources are dedicated to helping the Asheville community thrive.”

Willard adds that the timing of the race parlays well as an integral mission of the advisors in the Baird Asheville office, which is to help clients become “financially fit.”
“Being financially fit may not sound as fun as working on becoming physically fit, but it’s just as important,” says Willard. “We encourage it to be one of your top resolutions for 2020.”

Two great companies merged into one

Hilliard Lyons and Baird decided to join forces after nearly a quarter of a century of mutual admiration and respect. Williard says the team at Hilliard Lyons, a company that has had a presence in Asheville for 25 years, is excited for the merger, citing that it’s a “New Name….Same Values.”

“Baird brings us a more robust platform technologically, a slightly larger footprint and international presence, along with intellectual capital that will only complement our existing offerings,” Willard says. “All the while, we have the unique opportunity to maintain the culture that inspired us to be connected with Hilliard Lyons in the first place. It couldn’t be a more perfect union.”

Giving back to the local community

One of the most appealing values that Baird has brought to the partnership was its commitment to community.

“The local Hilliard Lyons/Baird believes that ‘Wealth is more than money: It is community, relationships, health and family,” says Willard. “Community involvement is a core value at Baird.”

For over a decade, Baird has dedicated one week per year for “Baird Gives Back”. During that week, employees are encouraged to volunteer in their hometowns for whatever philanthropy they feel most closely aligned. Every employee is given two days a year of paid time to volunteer with a community organization, and managers can approve requests for commitments that require much more time. Every employee also is eligible to receive a matching contribution, ranging from $500 to $1,000 each year, made to eligible nonprofit organizations. The Baird Foundation matched more than $1 million.

A great fit for iDaph Events

iDaph Events and Timing is thrilled to be partnering with Baird this year as it gears up for its 6th annual New Year’s Resolution Run.

“We are excited to partner with Baird, a well respected financial planning organization who has ties to the Asheville cycling, running, and fitness community,” says Mamie Colburn, iDaph’s Community Outreach Coordinator. “The new year is a time to reflect on where we want our lives to go and set new goals. iDaph hopes to inspire you to reach your fitness goals, and Baird has tools to help you reach your financial goals. It’s our pleasure to bring the two together for the New Years Resolution Run!”

New Year’s Resolution Run Presented by Baird

The New Year’s Resolution Run presented by Baird offers a 10 Mile Run & 5k Run/Walk. The event takes place through the streets of downtown Asheville, NC on New Year’s Day (at a reasonable 10:00 am), and welcomes families and participants of all ages to come run or crawl their way to completing their first resolution.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

Next Packet Pick-up Location!

This year’s New Year’s Resolution Run presented by Baird will be held:

Tuesday, December 31st, 2019

Hilliard-Lyons Baird
79 Woodfin Pl #103
Asheville, NC 28801

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