Posted by: Joe Nuss on Mar 02, 2011
2011 Continental Divide Trail Race to Crown 2011 USA 10K Trail Championships
The third annual Continental Divide Trail Race, the 2011 USA 10K Trail Championships, will be held on August 27 in Laurel Springs, N.C.
Over the past two years the Continental Divide Trail Race gained a reputation as one of the toughest trail races in the Southeast. The terrain is a mixture of everything from grass to fire roads to wide trails to tight single track. The footing ranges from relatively smooth to highly technical. The race has almost doubled in size over the past two years, with 134 runners completing the challenging course in 2010.
The course has no flat portions, and few gentle slopes. Most descents are between 9 and 15 percent steep, and one 150 meter section is a gut-wrenching 28.5 degree drop. Most climbs are about 10 degrees steep, although a quarter-mile climb just before the midway point is 18.5 degrees, and another near the finish competitors face a 22-degree incline that extends for a quarter mile. This last segment includes "The Rock Climb," a 20-yard section that has most competitors looking for a good handhold.
Despite the tough terrain, the Continental Divide Trail Race has a low-key atmosphere and camaraderie typical of the trail-running community. Whether you're an elite athlete competing for a top prize or a recreational runner seeking new competitive experiences, the race is a great opportunity to experience mountain trails and challenge yourself.
Laurel Springs, 75 miles northeast of Winston-Salem, is just off the Blue Ridge Parkway and provides stunning views into the foothills on one side and the mountains on the other. The race course itself crosses the Eastern Continental Divide.
As a USA Trail Championship, the Continental Divide Trail Race includes Overall and Masters prize divisions as well as USATF age group and USATF team categories. Please check the race Web site, www.continentaldividetrailrace.com, for more information, including driving directions and lodging options.