Thursday, May 13, 2010

Get ready to conquer the Divide

A heads-up on a race that's two hours away and two and a half months off, but could be worth putting on your calendar if you're a trail specialist looking for a serious challenge. This from an e-mail I got that originated with race director Christopher Crowder:

The second installment of the Continental Divide Trail Race -- set for Aug. 28 in Laurel Springs -- will once again be the USA 10 km Trail Championships in 2010. I believe our race is one of the toughest trail races in the southeast.

The terrain is a mixture of everything from grass to fire roads to wide trails to tight single track. The footing ranges from relatively smooth to highly technical. Then add that there is really nothing flat -- you are either running up or down.

Most descents are 9%-15%, with one 150-meter section of 28.5%. ... Most climbs are in the 10% range, with two bigger climbs. The first big climb comes just before halfway, with a ¼ mile climb at 18.5%. The second big one comes with just under a ½ mile to go. This climb is again ¼ mile, but at over 22%, it's a grind. It includes a section that has been nicknamed "The Rock Climb." It is not actually a rock climb, but you may end up using your hands as you work up this part (it covers 20 yards).

Now before you say this race is too tough, we had 84 runners participate last year. They said the course was quite challenging, but they loved it and plan on returning this year. So aren't you ready for a real challenge?

The race site, 75 miles northwest of Winston-Salem, is on the brim of the Blue Ridge Mountains and provides a beautiful setting. The Blue Ridge presents wonderful views into the foothills below on one side and views into the heart of the mountains on the other.

In the race, runners actually run on both sides of the Eastern Continental Divide. Our race has that low-key, trail runner atmosphere, which suits the attitude of the area. The race is a great opportunity to experience mountain trails and challenge yourself from the elite to recreational runner.

Our race is open to all runners. As a USA Trail Championship, there is Overall and Masters prize money as well as USATF age group and USATF team categories. We will also have a Juniors race with MUT Juniors Championship recognition. Please check out the race website for more information.
Might also want to give this a watch: