Runners Get Dirty in Coal Dust Run

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A coal community found a unique way to show support for miners at the 40th annual King Coal Festival.

Runners got a small taste of how it feels to be one of the miners they paid tribute to Friday night during the first ever Coal Dust Run 5K.

The Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce hosted the event in front of the Coal House in Williamson.

The run was based on "Color Runs,” events growing in popularity across the country where runners are splashed with dry colored powder.

Friday night in Mingo County, the only color was black.

Runners were splashed with corn starch mixed with black food coloring to emulate miners’ appearance after a day's work.

Roseanna Chafin lives in Pike County and participated in the run. She’s the daughter, granddaughter, and wife of coal miners.

"It feels like everyone is trying to shut down the coal mines, but around here, that's all we have,” Chafin said. “It's our living. It doesn't just affect the coal miners. It affects a lot of area businesses. If it goes away we won't have anything here."

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