Friday, August 22, 2014

The Continental Divide Trail Race - Coming up tomorrow!

Have you ever wanted to try a challenging mountain race but don’t want to commit to training for a long distance race?   The Continental Divide Trail Race may be the perfect race to do just that.  The race is only 10 km long; most runners complete the race in 55 to 90 minutes.  The shorter race allows you to test your abilities in the mountains without the commitment of a marathon or ultramarathon race.
The race takes place at Laurel Ridge Camp and Conference Center in Laurel Springs, NC.  It is a beautiful location in the Blue Ridge Mountains, only 1.5 hours from Winston Salem, 2 hours from Charlotte, and 2.5 hours from Asheville.   The Continental Divide Trail Race has a nice mixture of tight technical trails and wide grassy paths, steep climbs and descents mixed with fast runnable sections.  Are you afraid you won’t be able to run the whole race?  Don’t worry, everyone will walk some during this race.  We will keep the clock running until the last runner finishes. Now before you say this race is too tough, we had several 70+ year-old runners participate who said that they loved the course and plan on returning.   But maybe they are tougher than most folks nowadays.  Maybe they know the fun is in taking on a challenge.  Post-race festivities include good food, multiple awards categories (including homemade apple jam for age group winners!), and door prizes.

The Continental Divide Trail Race also serves as the 2014 USA 10 Km Trail Championships, attracting elite runners and top age group athletes from across the country.  So you can have the opportunity to race with them or just be running the same trails with the elites as they lay down smoking times.  Prize money will be awarded to the top USATF finishers and the top NC resident USATF members in the open and masters categories.  This year we are expecting previous winner David Roche (who just made the USA Mountain Team), and his new wife Megan Roche (who also just made the USA Mountain Team) who will be running Continental Divide as part of their honeymoon.  Last year’s champion, Mario Mendoza, will also be returning to challenge the mountain. NC Mountain runner Ryan Woods (2 Time member of the USA Mountain Team) returns trying to move up 1 spot from his numerous 2nd place finishes here.  Another NC Mountain runner, Amber Reece-Young (Runner-up at the 2012 Xterra World Championships) returns to compete for the national championship tag.  To compete in the national championship, you need to be a USATF member, however USATF membership is not required to run the race and everyone is eligible for the Continental Divide age group awards.

Video from the 2009 Continental Divide Trail Race

If you want to spend more time in the mountains, Higgins Lodge has hotel rooms available or you can reserve a bunk in one of the summer camp cabins.  It is also only less than an hour from the mountain town of Boone, an excellent choice for a weekend getaway.

The 2014 Continental Divide Trail Race will take place on August 23, 2014.

For more information, visit

Press Release by Race Director Jason Bryant.