Vertical Night Challenge

The 2nd Annual Vertical Night Challenge trail race is set for Saturday, October 2, 2021, at Rocky Face Park. There will be two race distances: a Vertical Mile (8 loops, approximately 16 miles) and a Half-Vertical Mile (4 loops, approximately 8 miles). Both races will begin at 6:00 p.m. Online registration is available at https://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?eid=12184. The entry fee for either race is $35. Online registration ends at 11:59 p.m. on October 1. There is no race day registration. All state and local ordinances pertaining to COVID-19 will be followed. Crewing areas will be available along the trail and will be 10 feet apart. At the base of the mountain, the start/finish line will feature an aid station with water, Gatorade, soft drinks, and salty and sweet snacks. Pickles and pickle juice will also be available. Runners are encouraged to carry a water bottle. Each loop (8 loops for Vertical Mile and 4 loops for Half-Vertical Mile) will travel the nearly 2-mile loop. After the start/finish line, there is a paved section along the base of the rock face that is the ideal place to bring your drop bag. Some runners bring pop-up tents. Runners then travel about a half-mile on trails to the Stairway to Heaven Trail. This half-mile hill is on an open, very steep rock face. After Stairway, it’s about one mile downhill to the steps and the start/finish line. Runners who sign up for the Vertical Night Challenge must do the Vertical Mile. We cannot give credit or count your time if you only do half the race. Runners who sign up for the Half-Vertical Mile Challenge can only run this distance. Awards will be given to Overall Male and Female finishers recognizing their accomplishment. Overall Alexander County Male and Female finishers will also be recognized. Additionally, awards will be presented for the Overall Fastest First Lap for Male and Female as well as Alexander County Fastest First Lap Male and Female. Only those who complete 8 loops will be eligible for the Fastest First Lap award. Awards will also be given in the Half-Vertical Mile Challenge to Overall Male and Female finishers recognizing their accomplishment. Overall Alexander County Male and Female finishers will also be recognized. There are no Fastest First Lap awards in the Half-Vertical Mile Challenge race. Finishers of both the 2021 VMC (June 19) and VNC will receive the Vertical Double Buckle. These buckles were presented in 2020 and were appreciated! There are no buckles for the Vertical Half-Mile. Also in 2021, five-year finisher awards will be presented. Shirts will be guaranteed to those who register by September 24th and finish the race. Packet pickup starts at 4:30 p.m. until the race begins at 6:00 p.m. at Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area (3451 Rocky Face Church Road, Hiddenite, NC 28636). Here are the course records for the VNC: Fastest First Lap – Men Brian Beal – 17:14 (2020) Fastest First Lap – Women Sarah Nichols – 21:58 (2020) Vertical Mile – Men’s Record Brian Beal – 2:47 (2020) Vertical Mile – Women’s Record Sarah Nichols – 3:36 (2020)
  • March 29, 2021
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