This has become the big kickoff race for the year in Asheville since its début in 2008. The 800 runner limit was met a week or so ago so we’ll have a big crowd. The course is a flat out and back, starting and finishing at Isaac Dickson Elementary School. I found the course recently mapped at USATF.ORG and have included a link below so you can review the course interactively. NOTE: I think the finish in this map is a little bit off. I recall the race finishing down the hill from the school.
It’s a fast downhill start (I did the first mile in 7:06 last year which is way fast for me — I finished in the mid-48 minute range). A long stretch down Riverside and Lyman followed by a loop through French Broad River Park then head back to Isaac Dickson. With the out and back course you get a great opportunity to see the elite runners coming back on Lyman after exiting the park (unless of course you are one of the elite runners, then you get to see me and hundreds of other runners heading toward the park). Based on my review of the race registrants, I suspect we’ll be seeing Stuart Moran leading the way back on Lyman with a big gap between him and the rest of the pack.