Thor’s Hammer could be one of the more challenging runs offered up to runners this year. “Thor’s Hammer is not your typical road race,” according to race organizer Roy Faulkenberry. “While much of the race is run on what some might define as a road, it is actually a cross country race that will put your stamina to the test.”

   Friends of Heavener Runestone and the City of Heavener is sponsoring Thor’s Hammer, a 10K/5K run scheduled for Oct. 8, 2011 at Heavener Runestone Park near Heavener, Ok. The race will start at 9 a.m. in the overlook area of Heavener Runestone Park. Check-in time is between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. Runners can pick up their packets and numbers at that time.

   “The challenge starts the moment the starting gun is fired,” Faulkenberry said. Runners will face an uphill climb of about 200 yards when the starting gun is fired. The course levels off for another100 yards before making another uphill climb to reach the top of Poteau Mountain, he said. The course will then follow a dirt road along the length of the mountain before runners get a  breather on a downhill run that lasts for about a mile. “The real fun begins when runners hit the two small ravines and another uphill climb of about a mile that connects back to the main trail back,” said Faulkenberry.

   The name for the race, Thor’s Hammer, is in keeping with the Viking theme of Heavener Runestone Park. The City of Heavener took over operation of the park when the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation decided to close it and six other parks around the state. Friends of Heavener Runestone is the organization formed to offer support for the park and help with fundraising to offset operational costs.

   Thor’s Hammer is the first of what will be a variety of fundraising efforts. “We hope to make Thor’s Hammer an annual event,” said Faulkenberry. “We wanted to make this race unique and challenging, because most runners do like a good challenge and like to test themselves.”

   Registration deadline is Sept. 20, 2011. Runners can register online at www.friendsofheavenerrunestone.org , or pick up a registration form at Heavener City Hall, Heavener Ledger Office, Days Inn & Suites in Poteau, or at Runestone Park Gift shop.

   For more information, contact Roy Faulkenberry at 918-653-2425 or Mike Kennerson at 918-658-5790 or Karry Kofr at (918-653-2241.