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Crazy 8s canceled for 2020

Staff report • Apr 30, 2020 at 10:18 PM

Thursday’s announcement that Kingsport’s Fun Fest had been canceled in 2020 due to concerns over COVID-19 didn’t bode well for fans of the Crazy 8s 8K Run.

Late Thursday, event directors made it official.

The popular Crazy 8s 8K Run, scheduled for Saturday evening, July 11, has also been canceled, according to a press release. The race, started in 1990, has run for 30 straight years, but will take a year off in the interest of protecting the health and safety of all attendees, the release said.

“We are obviously devastated to have to make this decision,” said Hank Brown, event co-director. “For 30 years, Crazy 8s has been our passion, and everyone involved has worked so hard to make it one of the top running events in the world. We will go to work right away to bring Crazy 8s back in 2021, bigger and better than ever.”

The race, known as the “World’s Fastest 8K” has been the site of two 8-kilometer world records (Peter Githuka who ran 22:03 in 1996, and Asmae Leghzaoui who ran 24:28 in 2002), and has seen thousands of runners, walkers and kids grace the world-famous figure 8 course over the years.

“We had big plans this year and were set to announce that Crazy 8s had been approved to host the 2020 USA Men’s 8K National Championship. We were very excited about this, so this makes it an even harder pill to swallow. However, we must always consider the best interest of participants and attendees.”

“We know so many people will be disappointed,” said event co-director Natalie Whitlock. “Children grow up running Crazy 8s, and it’s a tradition for so many families. Couples run together, and years later introduce us to their children now running Little 8s. It is very hard to imagine a summer without Crazy 8s and the wonderful memories that are made under the lights at J. Fred Johnson Stadium. It’s a very difficult and confusing time for the world. We make these hard decisions to allow us to come back and put on healthy and successful events including the Men’s 8K National Championship at Crazy 8s in 2021.”

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