Registration is open for the Assault on BlackRock (ABR), a 7-mile trail race in Jackson County, North Carolina, that takes runners and hikers on an ascent and descent of one of Western North Carolina’s most picturesque mountain summits.
The ninth annual ABR will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 23, 2019, from the parking lot of Sylva’s Pinnacle Park, which is located at the end of Fisher Creek Road, just outside Sylva. Runners and hikers who register for the race will climb rocky roadbeds and a single-track trail to the 5,810-foot Black Rock summit, which is located in a fir-spruce forest on the spine of the Plott Balsam Mountains.
After gaining 2,770 feet in elevation in approximately 3.5 miles, participants reach the turnaround point at the summit, which is located on top of an enormous rock perched along the ridge top. The final few feet to the top involves an easy scramble up the rock, which provides participants an expansive, almost 360-degree view extending across Western North Carolina.
The first 100 registrants for the race will receive a T-shirt, and prizes will be awarded to the top finishers. An extra incentive for runners to ascend and descend the mountain quickly is the Black Rock 101 Challenge. Those completing the race in 101 minutes (one hour and 41 minutes) or less receive a special belt buckle.
All proceeds from this year’s race will go to the K9 fund of the Sylva Police Department, which is raising money to buy a K9, or police dog. Water will be available on the course, but runners are asked to bring a hand-held water bottle or collapsible cup to limit the impact on the park and reduce waste. Cups will not be available at water stations.
The pre-registration fee is $25, and the fee is $30 on race day. A printable registration form, course map and other information is available on the Assault on BlackRock page on Facebook. Online registration is available at Ultrasignup.com.
For more information, contact race coordinator Brian Barwatt at 828-506-2802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.