Once again, runners and cyclists can "Race to the Rock" at Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park. The 5K run and 7K cycling time trail are set for Sunday, August 30 at 8am. Both events are part of the 5th Annual Hickory Nut Gorge Olympiad and are professionally managed by Race Day Events.
Beginning in Chimney Rock Village and continuing up the Park's winding entrance road, the race finishes just below the 315' Chimney Rock, the ancient monolith which gives the Park its name. While completing the race, averaging an uphill seven percent grade, is certainly reward enough, participants will also be treated to 75-mile views of Lake Lure, Hickory Nut Gorge and the Carolina Piedmont. The run starts at Judy's Motel just outside the Park entrance, while the cycling time trial begins a The Lake Lure Inn & Spa.
Concessions after the race will be provided by the Chimney Rock Village Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary. Spectators may watch the race for free as long as they enter Chimney Rock prior to 7:30am.
Advanced registration is $25 and includes a commemorative Olympiad T-shirt while supplies last. Register online at www.hickorynutolympiad.com/racetorock.htm. Walk up registration will also be available beginning at 6:30am at the Old Rock Café in Chimney Rock Village and is $30. Proceeds benefit charitable organizations in the Hickory Nut Gorge. In its five years, the Olympiad has given nearly $50,000 to local charities.
The Hickory Nut Gorge Olympiad is a four-day sport and community celebration. With dozens of events from kayak races to a fireworks extravaganza, sand volleyball to live music, the Olympiad has something for everyone. More information can be found at http://www.hickorynutolympiad.com/.
Chimney Rock is located 25 miles southeast of Asheville on Highway 64/74-A in Chimney Rock, NC. The State of North Carolina purchased Chimney Rock as the focal point of larger planned state park in Hickory Nut Gorge. 2009 admission is $14 for adults and $6 for youth ages six through 15. Children under six are admitted free. For a full list of events and activities, visit chimneyrockpark.com or call 800-277-9611.