This is a beautiful but challenging race. (about: 1996)|
A Runner from King, NC (4/10/00)
This race starts in Boone on the college track (one loop) and finishes on the track of the Highland Games in front of thousands of people. Even though it is in July, the temperatures are comfortable(you may even be chilly at the start). The first two miles are down hill then the course winds up and down (from 3160 ft to 3820 ft of elevation) back country roads to the Blue Ridge Parkway(at approximately 11 miles)which is has a drop of 400 ft over the next two miles but when you turn off of it you start climbing again, from 13 to about 25 is the longest climb (3400 ft to 4279 ft) to the finish but it has short flats to break it up. In order to finish the race on the track, it must be completed in five hours. You can still finish but it is a little short of 26.2 but after attacking the mountain it is great just to finish.
The only bad part is to run through the crowds and dodge the cars during the last mile (both of them are on the road and the shoulders are lined with parked cars). Your nerves can get a little frayed, but most people will get out of the way if you let them know you are behind them.
Bus shuttles are available back to the start.
If your family wants to see you finish on the track, they have to pay admission to the games or see you on the final approach. Be sure to let them know that they will probably have to walk a couple of miles after they find a parking place, so they need to allow plenty of time to get to the finish. They can see you and get some great photo shots on the Blue Ridge Parkway and on the other roads.
Don't forget you own personal camera for this run.
Book your room or camping spot early, they fill up quickly.
There is much for the family to do in the area- Tweetsie Railroad (amusement park), Mystery House, An outdoor drama-