Waynesville to make way for the Mighty Four Miler and Smokies Half-Marathon

Mar. 24—Hundreds of runners will take to the streets of Waynesville Saturday, April 6, for the Mighty Four Miler and Gateway to the Smokies Half Marathon.

The Mighty Four Miler is a tribute race for hometown hero Riley Howell, a Waynesville native who was tragically killed in a school shooting at UNC-Charlotte in 2019 when tackling the gunman to save the lives of fellow students.

Proceeds of the race, now in its fourth year, will go to The Riley Howell Foundation Fund to benefit victims of gun violence. Howell was a cross country runner in high school and loved the outdoors, making a race the perfect tribute to honor his life.

The races kick-off at 8 a.m. in front of the historic courthouse on Main Street. Motorists should be on the look-out for runners along the race routes.

—The Mighty Four Miler will go up Main Street, weave through Hazelwood, return along Brown Avenue and finish in Frog Level in front of the Old Armory.

—The Gateway to the Smokies Half Marathon will follow the same route, but with a loop up into the Waynesville Country Club area and another loop out Eagles Nest and Plott Creek.

The Mighty Four Miler registration is $45 and the half marathon is $90. To register, go to To donate to the Riley Howell Foundation Fund, visit