Sunday, Sep 20, 2020 @ 9:00 AM

Mountain Fork Half Marathon

Norton, VA 13.6 Miler

Registration closes: Wed, Sep 16 @ 11:59 PM

Event Postponed

This event has been postponed from Jun 06, 2020 to Sep 20, 2020

About

The Mountain Fork Half Marathon is a 13.6-mile race that starts and finishes at the High Knob Observation Tower in Wise County.
The race loops through the scenic Mountain Fork watershed, primarily on Forest Service roads, before finishing back at the High Knob Observation Tower.
The High Knob Observation Tower stands atop the highest point in the Cumberland Mountains and is located on the Jefferson National Forest's Clinch Ranger District. High Knob's elevation rests at 4,230 feet. Five states can be seen from the tower's platform, including a 360-degree view of peaks as far away as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and West Virginia.
The inaugural Mountain Fork Half Marathon will be held Sunday, September 20, 2020. The event was postponed from its original date in June due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
?All race proceeds benefit ongoing trail development and maintenance on the Flag Rock Area Trails system in the City of Norton's Flag Rock Recreation Area and on High Knob.
See www.facebook.com/mtnforkhalf for race updates.

Course Information

The Mountain Fork Half Marathon is a 13.6-mile race that begins at the High Knob Observation Tower on the Jefferson National Forest's Clinch Ranger District. The elevation is approximately 4,200 feet above sea level at the race starting line in the parking lot below the tower.

Course Directions: Runners head down the paved High Knob Observation Tower approach road. Turn left onto the paved Forest Road 238.
Travel a half mile on Forest Road 238 before turning left again onto State Route 619.
Travel State Route 619 almost 1.7 miles before turning left onto Forest Road 704.
Travel Forest Road 704 for 5.5 miles before transitioning onto State Route 706.
Travel State Route 706 for just under 0.4 miles and turn left at junction for Forest Road 238/Robin Road/Robinson Road.
Travel Forest Road 238 for 5.2 miles back to High Knob Observation Tower approach road.
Make a slight left onto approach road and climb .15 miles to the finish line.
Total Elevation Gain: 2,024 feet.
See https://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/2769769660 for course map.

Race Day 2020

Packet pick-up and race day registration will be held from 7-8:15 a.m. on September 20, 2020 at the City of Norton's Reservoir Trailhead located off State Route 619 and three miles above downtown Norton (Driving Directions). Runners will park at the registration site and will then be shuttled to the start/finish line at the High Knob Observation Tower between 8:15-8:45 a.m. Race day registration is $65.

The race begins at 9 a.m. Race day announcements will be held at 8:50 a.m. Total elevation gain for the Mountain Fork Half is 2,024 feet.
Course Directions:
Runners head down the High Knob Observation Tower approach road and then turn left onto the paved Forest Road 238.
Travel a half mile on FR 238 before turning left again onto State Route 619.
Travel State Route 619 almost 1.7 miles before turning left onto Forest Road 704.
Travel Forest Road 704 for 5.5 miles before transitioning onto State Route 706.
Travel State Route 706 for just under 0.4 miles and turn left at junction for Forest Road 238/Robin Road/Robinson Road.
Travel Forest Road 238 for 5.2 miles back to High Knob Observation Tower approach road.
Make a slight left onto approach road and climb .15 miles to the finish line.

We will have course marshals at most road intersections. Directional arrows will also be posted on signs at junctions and critical sites along the course.

The race route is an OPEN course. Please be aware that vehicles will be on the road throughout the race. Please make sure you are as visible as possible — this race includes sharp and blind curves. Avoid running in the middle of the road or into blind curves. We also cannot close the parking lot at the summit for the race, so be aware there might be vehicles coming and going from that area as you finish. The finish line will be located in the parking area at the stone steps that approach the tower. We will have a safety vehicle bringing up the rear of the race.

There will be a vehicle for runners wanting to take a clothing bag to the top. Race organizers are not responsible for lost items, but we will do our best to secure them. There will be an area at the registration table to drop off bags.

Awards will be presented to the top three men and women overall winners and the overall masters man and woman (age 40 and up). We will also have age group awards for the top three men and women in the following categories: 29 and under; 30-39; 40-49; 50-59; and 60 and over. Awards will be presented once all categories are filled.

Runners will be shuttled to the race start/finish area. Race day registration, packet pick-up, and parking for the race will be held two miles from the race starting line in a large gravel parking lot (Norton Reservoir Trailhead) on City of Norton property. See https://goo.gl/maps/ceqexhYBQiTgQRsV9 for driving directions.

There will be four aid stations at approximately the 3-, 6-, 9-, and 12-mile markers.

Time limit: All runners are encouraged to complete the course by 1 p.m.

Finish Line: As you come across the finish line, we will collect your race bib tag to help record results.

Spectators/Parking: Family and friends of runners are more than welcome to come to the finish line to cheer and support participants. We encourage spectators to also ride shuttle buses to the start/finish line to reduce vehicular traffic at the summit. There is limited parking at the summit and we cannot close the summit parking lot for the race.

Weather Outlook: We will post a weather outlook closer to the 2020 race date.

Local time: 8:05 PM
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