Moonlight Bootlegger 5K transports racers back in time

Published 10:58 am Tuesday, November 3, 2015

After racing through the dark, participants in the Moonlight Bootlegger 5K enjoy beverages in commemorative mason jar glasses. (Contributed)

After racing through the dark, participants in the Moonlight Bootlegger 5K enjoy beverages in commemorative mason jar glasses. (Contributed)

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer

PELHAM— Back in the ‘20s Prohibition Era, bootlegging and rum running through the backcountry was a norm for many people in the south. To transition back to that period, Trivium Racing is hosting The Moonlight Bootlegger 5K Trail Race at Oak Mountain State Park Nov. 14.

The idea started in Greensboro, S.C., according to Libby Swor with Trivium Racing, Inc. She said they noticed the growing popularity of legally brewed moonshine and got with a distillery to create an event.

“Instead of them just running its more of social event as well,” Swor said. “People love it. Actually, at the first event we had, we sold out and had to add a second event.”

The race starts at 5:15 p.m. when it’s dark outside at OMSP. The runners, equipped with required flashlights or headlamps, race through the woods with blue grass tunes playing at each of the mile markers.

Battery-operated candles and reflective arrows line the trial, keeping participants on track.

Once racers reach the finish line, there will be a supply of moonshine cocktails and snacks as well as live entertainment from a local blue grass band. The after party will last until 7:30 p.m.

“People love the scene, love the idea,” Swor said. “They hang out afterward and listen to the band.”

This is the third year Trivium Racing has hosted the Bootlegger 5K, but it’s the first year they have held the event at Oak Mountain. There will be four other locations hosting the race as well.

Swor said they hope to make the race an annual event in Birmingham, as popularity tends to grow each year with this 5K. She said the Bootlegger race has grown by 50 to 100 people every year in Greensboro.

As this is a timed race, awards are given to the top three overall males and overall females. They will also award the top three males and females in each age group.

Registration for the event varies based on the race’s capacity. Entry is $32 up to 50 percent capacity, $37 up to 75 percent capacity and $42 until the registration is full.

Registration includes a race T-shirt, post race food, two moonshine drink tickets for participants over 21 and a commemorative moonshine mason jar. For more information or to register, visit

“I think (my favorite part) really is the after party,” Swor said. “The race is over quick. Most people are done within 45 minutes, and everyone comes back and hangs out after.”