Jim Snyder and award

The West Jefferson Lions Club honored member Jim Snyder by renaming the annual Lions Club 3.1-mile running race to The Jim Snyder Christmas Tree 5K. Snyder is pictured here with a commemorative plaque.

WEST JEFFERSON — The West Jefferson Lions Club honored member Jim Snyder during its June 18 meeting by renaming the annual Lions Club 3.1-mile running race to The Jim Snyder Christmas Tree 5K, according to a press release from the club.

Snyder is a distance runner who has run more than 550 Marathons totaling almost 15,000 miles in all 50 states, plus Canada, according to Sally Covington of the Lions Club.

“He ran the Boston Marathon eight times and has run to the top of Mt. Mitchell and back several times,” Covington said. “At his home in the Ashe Lake community, he has a room full of trophies, certificates and awards, as well as hundreds of running shoes from his long running career.”

Snyder’s participation in marathons and dedication to the sport of running was recognized by friends and co-workers in 2014, when they dedicated a stretch of N.C. 163 — from Nettle Knob Road to Taylor Ranch Road — as Snyder’s Run, adopted through the NCDOT Adopt A Highway Program, Covington said.

“Snyder is also a Vietnam Veteran who was wounded in combat, and he is a lifetime member of the Jefferson VFW,” Covington said. “He is a cancer survivor and is living with Parkinson’s disease.”

In 2014, Snyder joined the West Jefferson Lions Club, and he graciously volunteers his time serving the Ashe County community, according to Covington.

“He has been chairman of the Christmas Tree 5K for the past 5 years,” Covington said. “His leadership has been vital to the success of this race. He is a valued member of the Lions Club, and we thank him for his service.”

The 2019 Jim Snyder Christmas Tree 5K will be Dec. 7, Covington said. More information will be released closer to the time of the event.

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