COVID-19 Update For 2021
Due to Covid-19 and it's impact on our ability to secure federal, state and local permits, we will be hosting our 2021 event virtually.
What does that mean?
1. Your $50 entry gets you a 2021 t-shirt and a logo neck gaiter!
2. A portion of your entry will also go towards the Swannanoa Valley Museum and the group that helps maintain these trails we all love!
3. The first 250 virtual runners to sign up will also get a pass through the lottery for the 2022 live event! We have 2500 or more vying for these spots in some years. This puts you straight
4. You will record your finish time from a February workout on the course in Ultrasignup. You will have the ability to provide pictures or video from your day and we will promote it on our social media channels! For those of you from far away, you can submit a time on an equally hard marathon trail (5000 feet of climbing!). This is "on your honor" and a way for us all to virtually be part of the trail community we all love so much until we can all come back together in person in 2021!
Be safe and run on!
The Challenge is this: Begin at dawn in Black Mountain, the quaint "front porch of Western North Carolina", and follow trails to the "rooftop" of Western North Carolina, the 6,684' summit of Mount Mitchell - eastern America's highest point - then return to the start/finish area! With a starting altitude of 2,360', the elevation gain for this 40-mile run will be 4,324' - in the first 20 miles!
Race founders Wendell Begley of Black Mountain Savings and Trent Thomas from Black Dome Mountain Sports saw a need for this kind of event for both the elite athlete and the weekend warrior. Their goal was to design a race that was attainable physically while offering the opportunity to test oneself against the often-uncooperative forces of nature!
The Marathon runners start side-by-side with the Challengers and duplicate their course to the Black Mountain Gap overlook on the famed Blue Ridge Parkway. Here, at an elevation of 5,340' and with an extraordinary view of Mount Mitchell as a backdrop, Marathoners will turn and retrace their course to the Start/Finish area in Black Mountain.
While you are required to carry all the gear you will need to complete the race for the entire distance (no drop bags or outside support allowed)...There will be a number of aid stations offered along the course where food and drink will be available...There you will find: Gatorade, water, salty chips, cookies, energy food, pretzles, oranges, bananas, some Endurolytes, and a few stations will have Ibuprofen and Vaseline...
Local time: 6:21 AM