Beech Mountain Takes It To The Max

Eastern America’s highest elevation township has revamped its annual road race to a series called the ClimbMAX. This years’ first epic race is a combination, 10k, 5k, and Fun Run with new routes to take advantage of Beech Mountain’s rarified altitude differentials. The Second race of the series held in September will be a 10k ascent of over 2000′ elevation changes straight up. And the third will be a 5k Mud Run/Obstacle course run called the GRUEL, date to be determined.

The Beech Mountain ClimbMAX, presented by, is set to challenge all runners with a demanding course on Saturday, June 22nd.

The 10k and 5k course begin at 5057′ elevation near Town Hall. The first two miles provide an almost 400′ decent winding along the beautiful Beech Mountain Parkway toward the ski village highlighting the local Inns, Eateries, Golf Course and views. From that point the 10k takes a long, steep 807′ uphill climb to 5,443′, punctuated by several switchbacks and long-range vistas, just shy of the mountain’s summit with a multitude of elevation changes to follow.

The 5k turns of the parkway and into a variety of hill laden residential neighborhoods before returning to the parkway and the finish line.

The routes replace the fairly challenging 5-mile course that had been used for several years, known as A Cool 5. ‘We wanted to take advantage of our altitude differentials, highlighting our descents, assents, vistas as well as our beautiful township,’ said race director Tim Fox of the Beech Mountain Parks & Recreation Department. ‘It will be unlike any other race that we know of on the East Coast.’

As in previous years, there will also be a simultaneous Fun Run/Walk for family members and others of all ages looking for moderate exercise; strollers and pets are encouraged as well as a 5k race for those runners who are working up the challenge of the 10k.

However, the main event is geared toward the serious runner ‘We’re looking to attract not only locally competitive runners of all age groups, but also runners from across the country. This race is destined to become a major event on the east coast,’ Fox said. ‘If you think other races are challenging, come try this one.’ Course-side lodging specials will be available, along with post-race activities.

The entry fee for adults is $30 through May 20, and $35 from May 20 until race day. Race day registration is $40. Children 13 and under may register at any time for $20. Entry fees include a t-shirt, goodie bags, and post-race activities.

‘Endurance will be a key. There will be hairpin turns, bursts of assents and descents as well as long, grinding assents,’ said Fox. ‘People are always looking for that challenge, for that one event that tests their ability; this is it!’

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