3451 Rocky Face Church Road
Hiddenite, NC 28636
Are you ready for the Vertical Mile Challenge III? If so, you need to register for this extreme running event at Rocky Face Park in Alexander County set for Saturday, June 17 at 8:00 a.m.
Registration for this race is online only (ends Thursday, June 15 at 12:00 noon), or in person on June 17 at the event from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.
The course is approximately a two-mile loop beginning and ending at the bottom of the cliff face directly behind the parking lot. The course is paved for a short distance and then becomes typical single-track trail. After approximately 1/2 mile, runners will begin the 500-foot climb up the side of the mountain. At the top of the climb, the course reaches the Hollow Rock Trail and follows it down to the top of the lower rock face. At this point, runners will follow the Buzzard Loop trail to the end of the loop at the start/finish area. Runners will complete the loop eight times, equivalent to approximately 16 miles, and a vertical mile up and a vertical mile down.
The Vertical Mile Challenge will have an eight-hour cut-off. This cut-off will be done by only allowing those who have finished seven (7) loops by the end of seven (7) hours to continue onto the 8th loop. This cut-off is not a hard and fast rule. The event director may allow a few extra minutes at his discretion on a case by case basis.
At the base of the mountain near the start/finish area will be a self-service aid station with water, electrolyte drink, as well as salty and sweet snacks. Runners are encouraged to carry a bottle. Each loop, runners will travel a paved section along the base of the cliff which is an ideal place to bring your own drop bags with any special needs participants may have.
Shirts will be guaranteed to those who register by June 1, and finish the entire race. Those registering after June 1 will get a finisher shirt if one is available. Non-finishers will not receive a shirt.
Packet pickup is race morning from 6:30 until the race begins.
Awards will be given in two categories for Overall Male and Overall Female, as well as “Fastest First Lap” for the male and female who complete the entire eight laps.
Any runner who agrees to not litter on the course may deduct $5 from his entry fee. A large trash receptacle will be along the course just after the aid table and just after entering the woods. Litter is anything not belonging on the course including clothing, empty gel packets, paper, wrappers, and toilet paper. If you simply must “go” in the woods, cover it and pack out the paper. There will be a place on the entry that you can check “I agree”. Check it and deduct $5 from the entry fee.
All proceeds from this event will go to Rocky Face Park.
For more information, contact event director Rick French at (828) 632-9332 or email@example.com.
Suggested lodging for visitors participating in The Vertical Mile Challenge includes:
The Lodges at Brushy Mountain, (828) 632-4804 or (828) 632-7502
Apple City Bed & Breakfast, (828) 635-1850 or (828) 404-6933
Hiddenite Family Campground, (828) 632-3815
History of The Vertical Mile Challenge
In 2011, Jimmy Ballard and Doug Dawkins went hiking on the Appalachian Trail in Vermont. They hiked south from Hanover, New Hampshire into New York State. Somewhere in Vermont during the countless ups and downs, Jimmy wondered if they had been a vertical mile – 5,280 feet up and 5,280 down. In fatigued and deranged humor, they thought, “Wouldn’t it be something to put on a run where the whole idea was to do a vertical mile in the shortest distance possible?!” It took a while to find the right location, but with the help of Alexander County Manager Rick French, they discovered that Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area was the perfect location.