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The Sunset Stampede – Asheville, North Carolina – May 6, 2006

 

There is a mountain in Asheville just north of downtown that overlooks the Grove Park neighborhood.  The historic Grove Park Inn was built on the side of this mountain and a road called Town Mountain Road travels along the crest of the mountain from downtown to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The race starts at 4 PM on a Saturday afternoon.  It feels like a party before the race starts and it certainly feels like a party afterward (glad to be done).  The race starts on the square downtown, heads down College Street and turns north on Charlotte Street.  Eventually runners start up Macon Street toward the Grove Park Inn (there is a four mile run that peels off and heads back toward town before reaching the Grove Park Inn).  The course follows Old Toll Road up to Town Mountain Road.  Many runners stop and walk periodically during the long uphill climb.  But there’s nothing better than reaching the top and knowing that it’s all downhill from here (literally).

 

It’s an exhilarating race.  I wasn’t sure what kind of time I’d do but I was happy to finish just over 90 minutes.

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