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Let’s Get Muddy for the New River!


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June 22nd will be here before we know it. After a temperamental winter, Spring is here to stay. We all know the familiar signs. The sun peaks through our windows earlier, motivating us to start our day, and stays out a little longer, giving us more time to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends. IF you have never participated in the Gritty Chix Mud Run or even visited ACE Adventure Resort, you are in for a treat. Novice and veteran outdoor enthusiast flock to this area to enjoy the many benefits of the mighty New River and all its surroundings.

When you sign up for Gritty Chix, you are not only signing up for a day of fun in the mud, but you are also proving that you are strong, fearless, determined, and giving. Each year, a portion of your registration cost is donated to a cause near to the ACE community. This year we have chosen to support the New River Conservancy. When the partnership was announced, this is what Marketing Director, Lisa Stansell-Galitz had to say “As a woman-led organization, and fierce women at that, we are incredibly proud to be a part of the Gritty Chix Mud Race.  We can’t wait to cheer on the participants, and maybe have one of our own take part in the race.”

Here for the New

The New River Gorge is iconic in Southern West Virginia. As Americas newest National Park, the New River Gorge draws millions of visitors every year. As one of the oldest rivers in the world, it is also among the most unique. Older than the Appalachian Mountains we all know and love, the New River is a 360 mile stretch that connect North Carolina, West Virginia, and Virginia. The New River is a magnet for whitewater and fishing enthusiasts and a huge boon for our economy and way of life.

While the long winding river is the focus, there is so much more to the New River. Wildlife and the woodlands alike rely on the New to flourish. As have many generations depended on its bounty to survive. Even before the first pioneers arrived, Native Americans followed the New River west, aptly calling themselves the “men of the western waters.” Another inspiring story in that of Mary Draper Ingles, who escaped captivity followed the Ohio, Kanawha, and finally the New River over 500 miles to return home.

The New River Conservancy

Tasking themselves with the responsibility to preserve the New and its surroundings, the New River Conservancy works tirelessly to keep the waters that have provided so many for centuries safe. By partnering with different organizations and specialists, the NRC strives to have a better understanding of issues affecting the New River. By collecting research and data, solutions can be found to improve the waterways. Training volunteers, fundraising efforts, and educating government officials are also ways the New River Conservancy strives to improve this amazing resource.

“At the New River Conservancy, our connection to the river runs deep. So does our responsibility to protect it.”

How can I help?

In addition to signing up to be part of the Gritty Chix Mud Run, the New River Conservancy has many ways to help you get involved! You can start with education. Knowing about your surroundings will help give you a better idea of how you can leave a positive and lasting impact on the New River and it’s surrounding areas. Follow their Facebook page and become a member on their website to keep up to date with education and volunteer opportunities. Participate in river clean ups and DONATE! Whether financially or with your time, every little bit makes a difference!

See You in June!

Each year, participation in the Gritty Chix Mud Run  grows as does our gratitude to you, our participants. We are proud to host an event that unites so many like-minded individuals. Whether you are going for a personal best this year and coming with friends to experience the fun community that you have created, we are excited to have you! If you haven’t registered yet, don’t miss out on the most EPIC event of the summer. We will see you on June 22nd at ACE Adventure Resort. Let’s get muddy for the New River!!

Chris Colin author at aceraft.com
BY Chris Colin

Chris Colin is a raft guide, whitewater kayaker, active caver, and as Special Events Coordinator at ACE he manages, promotes, and executes special events like the Mountain Music Festival.