It was a great run starting in the town of Chimney Rock just a few hundred yards from the entrance to Chimney Rock Park. The weather was warmer than I would have expected with temperatures in the mid 60s when I got out of my car. Nice turnout (73 finishers) for such an ambitious race. First thing I realized: I forgot my Garmin so I have no idea of my pace and distance. Hmm. Liberating.
The start is a gentle glide to the park entrance followed by a wood bridge crossing and a rude awakening.
It’s all uphill.
I was so entertained by a runner who ran with his black lab (or lab mix?). The beautiful dog was so excited and pulled the runner from the start and then got a nice drink at water station number one. (NOTE: later on the dog splashed and had great fun in the kiddie pool at the top full of ice for creating cool head wraps for hot runners).
It was about a mile or so uphill to the open area (I guess for picnic opportunities). The open area was a little hot. Then we went back to attacking the mountain with many switchbacks, but fortunately protected by thick trees. The final pull through the parking lot is a welcome end to a really challenging but fun race! I’ll do it again next year.