Black Mtn. Marathon and Mt. Mitchell Challenge Feb. 27th 2016 at 7 a.m.
Black Mtn. Marathon and Mt. Mitchell Challenge Feb. 27th 2016 at 7 a.m.

Both races are sold out, but we are here to pamper you before and after the race.  Lake Tomahawk is a good place to observe the beginning and end of the race.

Here is the official site.

The Challenge begins at dawn in Black Mountain, the quaint “front porch of Western North Carolina”, and follows 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.

A  portion of the proceeds will go to several non-profit groups that support land conservancy, wilderness safety and mountain hertitage.  They include the Black Mountain Fire/Rescue Team, the Swannanoa Valley Museum and the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy…An organization dedicated to the preservation of the wild places in which we love to play


Mount Mitchell is, at 6,684, the highest peak in eastern America  nearly 400 higher than New Hampshires Mount Washington.  Once known by its Indian name of Black Dome, its name was changed to honor Dr. Elisha Mitchell through whose efforts the controversy over that lofty distinction was settled.  (It is Dr. Mitchell’s stone grave which marks the turnaround of the Challenge at the mountain’s summit!).

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