Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Real Mt. Mitchell Marathon

Last Saturday I got out to run the Real Mt. Mitchell Marathon with the wnctrailrunners group. I have been eyeing this route for a long time and things finally aligned to be able to run it this year. Starting on the Black Mtn. Crest trail  at Bowlen's Creek near Burnsville the route climbs steadily for the first several miles to the ridge top at Celo Knob and Horse Rock. From there you follow the fishhook shaped crest of Black Mountain range to Cane River Gap. Evidently along the way you climb no less than 10 6000' peaks for a total of 8000' of elevation gain.

There really isn't much to report about this run except it was just exactly perfect. We started in the dark and topped out on Celo Knob just as the sun was rising. The views were incredible all across the Crest and for the most part we had the trail to ourselves until we got nearer to Mt. Mitchell and the halfway point. Really just amazing stuff along the way. If you haven't done the Crest trail yet you really need to.

We all rendezvoused at the restaurant in the state park just past the summit of Mitchell where I enjoyed way too big of a brunch while looking out over yet more spectacular views. As we were checking out the cashier couldn't help remark about our attire.

"I wasn't going to say anything," she said, "but y'alls shorts are really short."

From there it was bloated bellies up to Potato and Patton Knobs before intersecting the MST. A few more mountains then Balsam Gap and then on up Little Butt. By the time I hit Point Misery I was starting to feel it just a little but before I had a chance to think about it I was half way up Big Butt and a cold beer was just a downhill away.

Easily one of my favorite outings ever. Long live Pisgah Nation!














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