Tag Archives: Asheville

Top Five Races to Run in Asheville

TGIF!  This week has flown by (thankfully). The weather has been rough across the country. In Asheville we have been hit with ice and snow and temps below 0 degrees!  So not typical of this area!

I’m hooking up with Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What and Mar at Mar on the Run for the weekly  #FridayFive link up. The theme for today is “Five Races to Run in 2015.”  This is a very fun link up and if you have a blog I hope you join in! You can find out more about it here on  Courtney’s  blog  along with a list of upcoming themes.

Today I thought I would share a few of my favorite races to run in Asheville in case you are inspired to road trip and tie it in with a race!

1. Coming up in a couple of weeks on March 15 is the Asheville Marathon and Half Marathon. Held on the beautiful grounds of the Biltmore Estate,  iDaph Events puts on a great race. The only thing to keep in mind is weather can be iffy.

Courtesy of iDaph Events


2. Another great race held on the Biltmore Estate in May is the Biltmore Kiwanis 15k/5k. I do this race every year with my dad. It was my first race to run! I love coming back to it and seeing how much I have improved.

3. Asheville is known as “Beer City USA” with more breweries per capita than anywhere in the country!  Here you can find out more info on exploring the craft brew scene in Asheville. One race director has come up with a series of races called, “Race to the Taps.”  It’s a series of 6 races held between April and October each being held at different breweries around the area. This is the first year for this event and I’m excited to run a couple of them!  Each race ends at a brewery with a complimentary pour. Food trucks and live music will be a part of the post race festival at the finish.

4. August is the hottest month in Asheville and a great time to head to the trails for the Springmaid Splash.  From the Carolina Runner, ” This run is tough, wet, and wild. YOU WILL GET WET! You will run along flat fields next to the river, and through the river four times. Paths wind through mountain laurel, challenging HILLS, numerous switchbacks, singletracks, soft sand, alongside ponds, over roots and rocky spots. The entire loop is “run-able,” but is totally acceptable to walk parts of the course. It is a great SUMMER COOL DOWN! ”

Now We’re Splashing! Courtesy of Mount Mitchell Races


5. The Thomas Wolfe 8k is a longstanding fall tradition. It is a great course that runs through downtown and the historic Montford neighborhood. Held in October the temperature is perfect for racing and trees are usually at peak fall colors. The date for 2015 has not been set.


If you are looking for a destination race in Asheville or western North Carolina I highly recommend The Carolina Runner.  Dennis’ site is the most comprehensive for races in the area and has grown to include races across North Carolina and South Carolina.

What race are you looking forward to in 2015?


Boston Marathon Training Week 1- Jan 19-25


So my journey to Boston began this week.  It was a much better week of training than last week. I think changing drugs for my belly helped settle that problem down so I have been resting better.


The week ended with a race- The Asheville Hot Chocolate 10k.  Inside I was really dreading it and secretly trying to find a way out of running it.  Given how I’ve been feeling recently during my runs I didn’t think I had it in me to perform well. To put it bluntly, I didn’t want to embarrass myself!

The weather was looking iffy for the weekend and I thought I would be able to use an excuse of ice as a way of getting out of it. No luck. As you can see by the weather radar pick below, the storm parted with snow going north and raining heading south.  Asheville was spared and the race was on!


The Hot Chocolate 10k is one of Asheville’s biggest races.  I think because of it being one of the first races of the year and being a 10k a lot of people come out for it (around 800 runners.) I love it because it’s a great time to see running friends that I haven’t seen since the previous fall races.

My warm up sucked. 3 miles of heavy legs. I was really dreading the race. About 15 minutes before the start I popped a caffeinated GU and did some strides and high knee drills. I was really anxious at the start line. It was then I decided to let go of any goals or expectations and just run the best race I could that day.

The course is an out and back. The first mile is a steep downhill; I had to hold myself back a little. People were passing me left and right. I locked in to about an 8:10 pace for miles 2-4. At the turn around we were met with a brutal headwind.  I asked a guy running next to me if he wanted to take turns drafting. He kind of smirked. I took the lead first. I guess I was too slow for him as he quickly passed me. I tucked in behind him and sat on him for 1/2 a mile.  The pace felt a little slow (8:20) but any time I tried to cut out away from him I was working hard to keep an 8:15. I decided to settle in behind him and relax in the 8:20 pace saving energy for the big climb at the end. A picture is worth a thousand words. You can see the hill on my Strava post. It was a beast. My pace slowed to 11:40!! Everyone around me was walking, I refused.



My finish time was 52:48- a 2:30 course PR and 20sec overall PR! I’ll take it!  The icing on top was Top Grandmaster Female. Awesome swag came with this including the beautiful mug below.  The best part of the day was the lesson learned at the start line.  Some of the best races happen when you just run!


This week of training– (from Zap Fitness Coach Ryan Warrenburg)

Goal 27-32 miles-  31.3 miles

Monday4-5 miles easily with 6 x 20sec strides post run + core- 5@ 10:43.(last mile 10:03-uphill). Early morning. Strides x 6.

Tuesday7-8 miles total; 3 miles easily; light 3 mile progression from 9:00-05 down to 8:40-45 pace; easy cool down- 8miles- 3.5 warm up, 9:00, 8:50, 8:45, 1.5 mile cool down. Ran with a girlfriend who is at same level, same stride and also training for Boston. Nice to do workouts with someone else. Helps the pain pass faster! Beautiful day. Felt good. 

Wednesday- Off + core x20

Thursday4-5 miles easy running- 5miles at 10:18. Early morning run with girlfriends. Felt good.

Friday3-4 miles easily with 6 x 20sec strides post run + core- Cold, rainy. 3.3 miles at 9:48 with strides x 6 plus core work. Good pre-race shakeout. 

Saturday9-10 miles total; 2-3 miles warmup (if its below 40 make sure you go on the longer end); 10k Race; 1 mile easy cool down-Hot Chocolate 10K-10miles total- 3 mile warmup, 1 mile cool down. 35 degrees, 15mph winds. Head wind on back half. Beast of a hill at end. PR 52:40, Grandmaster. 2:30 course PR over 2014. 20sec overall PR. Splits: 7:45, 8:08, 8:10, 8:13, 8:28, (9:40, 9:20.-hill) For a comparison, my splits last year: 7:49, 8:46, 8:39, 8:36, 8:45, 9:53, 9:32.

Sunday– OFF

11 weeks until the Boston Marathon!

How was your week? Did you race?


#FridayFive- Five Things I Love About Asheville


Today I’m linking up with  EatPrayRunDC, YouSignedUpForWhat?  and MarOnTheRun   for the #FridayFive. The theme is “Five Things I Love About My Favorite City.” Well, it just so happens that my favorite city is my hometown!  Asheville is located in the mountains of Western North Carolina.  For being so small (pop. 75,000) it is packed with greatness!  Frommer’s just listed it as one of the number one cities in the world to visit in 2015! So here are five reasons why I love my hometown:

1. Location, location, location!  Asheville is located in one of the most beautiful areas of the country! Smack dab in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains it’s close proximity  to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream come true. Some of the best mountain biking, trail running, white water kayaking, hiking, and backpacking can be found here. World class athletes live here because of the close proximity to trails.

2. Food!  Asheville is definitely a foodie’s town! It is starting to make a name for itself on the national food scene. Whatever you are looking for it is here! The hottest restaurant in town right now is Curate’. Chef Katie Button trained at the world renown elBulli and shares her talent and passion with the Asheville food scene.

3. Beer!  Deemed “Beer City USA” there are now more breweries per capita than any city in the US!  Some big names in brewing including Sierra Nevada and New Belgium have discovered this sweet little city and are calling it home.

4. The Biltmore House!  This beautiful estate is the largest private home in the country. If you like Downton Abbey you will love the Biltmore House. I liken it to a museum. It has one of the most amazing art collections including Sargent, Boldini and Renoir.  My favorite part is the grounds. Comprising over 125,000 acres I liken it to Asheville’s own “Central Park” as the grounds were designed by the renowned landscape architect  Frederick Law Olmsted.

5. The arts! There are hundreds of artists studios downtown and in the River Arts districts. You will find every style, every medium.  Many are known nationally and internationally. One of my favorite artists is Spencer Herr.

There you have it!  What I love about my favorite city! Have you been to Asheville? What do you like about it? What is your favorite city?

*Thank you Courtney, Cynthia and Mar for the link up!