From left, Cycle to Farm organizer Jennifer Billstrom; participants in the Bear Foot 5K, the second in Rutherford Outdoor Coalition’s race series; the Mad Mountain Mud Run is WNC’s first mud race.
Sharpen your competitive edge with tips to prepare for three races
written by Melissa C. Reardon
Whether you’re new to the racing circuit or have logged a lot of miles, spring heralds an onslaught of competitive runs (and training sessions). Set your sights on these heart-pumping events.
Pavement Pounder 5K
April 21 | Forest City
Rutherford Outdoor Coalition hosts 12 foot races this year, the third of which is this Saturday. According to ROC President Jerry Stensland, it’s a good one for beginners. The three-mile, paved route features flat stretches and one hill. Proceeds from entry fees benefit Relay for Life.
If you’re really feeling the power, it isn’t too late to set a bigger goal. Runners who enter at least six events qualify for the end-of-the-year winnings, which include cash prizes, gift certificates, and outdoor gear. Training runs take place Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings in Forest City. And Fitness Solutions can set you up with an exercise regime targeted for the race series.
The Pavement Pounder 5K starts at the Rutherford Internal Medicine Association office. 181 Daniel Rd.; Saturday, 6:30-7:30 a.m. registration, 8 a.m. race; $30; (828) 288-6344; http://rutherfordoutdoor.org/outdoor-activities/raceseries
Mad Mountain Mud Run
June 3 | Hendersonville
To call WNC’s first mud run a dirty race is an understatement. “It’s going to be epic,” says organizer Tina Kinsey. Over the 3.5-mile course, participants racing individually or in teams of four will complete mud-slinging obstacles, such as trudging through muck-filled pits and culverts, crossing creeks via logs and ropes, and climbing dirt mounds. Showers await at the end, so bring a towel and change of clothes. Prizes will be awarded for the best time, most creative team costume, and best team name. A festival with food, beverages, live music, and dirty events for the kids will entertain spectators. The event benefits Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, a nonprofit learning museum in Hendersonville.
So how do you train for a mud run? Organizers suggest a workout that incorporates core and upper body strengthening as well as cardio exercise. Presenting sponsor Park Ridge Health offers fitness classes to help participants get in shape. $50 per person, $190 per team; (828) 697-8333; www.madmountainmudrun.com
Cycle to Farm
June 23 | Black Mountain
This 62-mile metric century offers a spin (no pun intended) on the farm-to-table movement. Cyclists tour a handful of farms in Black Mountain, Fairview, and Old Fort, where they’ll sample fresh bites at each stop. Bikers can place orders for produce and artisan cheeses to be delivered to the finish line. This ride, which is a fund-raiser for the Black Mountain Greenways Commission, isn’t for the faint of heart. To prepare participants, organizers are offering a series of eight training rides that total 298 miles. The first ride is Saturday, April 21.
Visit the website to sign up for training rides or register for the race. Registration is $55, and goes up to $65 on April 23. Register before the 23rd for a chance to win a $50 gift card to The Blackbird restaurant in Black Mountain or coffee and products from Dynamite Roasting Company. (504) 320-2849; www.cycletofarm.org
Visit www.wncmagazine.com/events for more activities.