The 9th Annual Vertical Mile Challenge is set for June 24, 2023, with two races (Vertical Mile and Half Vertical Mile) beginning at 8:00 a.m. at Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area, 3451 Rocky Face Church Road in Hiddenite, NC 28636.
Registration is $35 for either distance. There is no race day registration.
At the base of the mountain, near the start/finish line, there will be an aid station with water, Gatorade, soft drinks, and salty and sweet snacks. Pickles and pickle juice will also be available.
Runners are encouraged to carry a water bottle. Each lap (8 laps for Vertical Mile and 4 laps for Half Vertical Mile) will travel the nearly 2-mile loop. After the start/finish line, there is a paved section along the base of the rock face that is the ideal place to bring your drop bag. Some runners bring pop-up tents. Runners then travel about a half-mile on trails to the Stairway to Heaven Trail. This half-mile hill is on an open, very steep rock face. After Stairway, it’s about one mile downhill to the steps and the start/finish line.
Fastest First Lap – Men
Gavin Coombs – 16:12 (2017)
Fastest First Lap – Women
Kara Peschock – 20:13 (2019)
Vertical Mile – Men’s Record
Gavin Coombs – 2:21 (2017)
Vertical Mile – Women’s Record
Marisa Romeo – 2:58:58 (2021)
CONTESTS, AWARDS, & SHIRTS
Runners who sign up for the Vertical Mile Challenge must do the Vertical Mile. We cannot give credit or count your time if you only do half the race. Runners who sign up for the Half-Vertical Mile Challenge can only run this distance.
Awards will be given to Overall Male and Female finishers recognizing their accomplishment. Overall Alexander County Male and Female finishers will also be recognized. Additionally, awards will be presented for the Overall Fastest First Lap for Male and Female as well as Alexander County Fastest First Lap Male and Female. Only those who complete 8 loops will be eligible for the Fastest First Lap award.
Awards will also be given in the Half-Vertical Mile Challenge to Overall Male and Female finishers recognizing their accomplishment. Overall Alexander County Male and Female finishers will also be recognized. There are no Fastest First Lap awards in the Half-Vertical Mile Challenge race.
Packet pick-up is race morning starting at 6:30 a.m. until the race begins at 8:00 a.m. on June 24, 2023, at Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area, located at 3451 Rocky Face Church Road in Hiddenite, NC.
Local time: 7:09 AM