Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park will host its 5th annual Race to the Rock at the Park on Sunday, August 28, 2011. Race to the Rock climbs the steep, winding Park road and finishes in the top parking lot with breathtaking 75-mile views of Lake Lure and the Hickory Nut Gorge. The 25-mile bike race starts at 7:30 a.m. and the 5K run starts at 7:45 a.m. Race to the Rock is part of the 7th Annual Hickory Nut Gorge Olympiad, a three-day, family sports festival. Registration is $35 in advance online or $40 walk-up.
The 5k run starts in Chimney Rock Village, climbs the 7% grade of the Park road and finishes in the top parking lot below the Rock. The bike race, formerly a 7k course, has been extended to 25 miles. It starts in the Village in a time trial format every 15 seconds, heads east on Hwy 64 and loops back to finish on the Park road just below the Rock. This is the only time anyone can run or bike up to Chimney Rock. All cyclists must be inside the Park (about 22 miles into the course) by 9:30 a.m. to finish the race.
Registration. Registration is $35 in advance online or $40 walk-up. On-line registration closes on August 25 at 7:30 a.m. Walk-up registration begins at 6 a.m. on race day at the Old Rock Café in Chimney Rock Village. Race to the Rock is the final competition in the 3 Races in 3 Days challenge. Proceeds benefit non-profit, community organizations in the Hickory Nut Gorge. For more information or to register, visit http://www.hickorynutolympiad.com or call 828-429-9011.