Sunday, January 30, 2011
Nantahala Fria will be held this year on February 19th at 9:00 a.m. This is a fun-run, with no fees and limited, if any, aid. The course this year will more than likely be the new course, which consists of various combinations of a 16-mile and an 18-mile loop. Every 16-18 miles, you will come past your vehicle, so it easy to support yourself during the run. Along the course, there are a few streams and springs to refill water. There are course descriptions below, but both loops consist of about 10 miles of gated forest road and the rest single-track. It is a pretty fast run, if the snow cooperates, and you have the option of any combo of the loops from 16 to 100 miles.
This is only for runners who are self-sufficient and experienced. Last year was very difficult, particularly during the night with lots of snow, ice and well below zero wind chills. Alan and I stopped in the middle of the night because even running together, it was too dangerous. We will hope for better conditions this year, but as Sarah observed, every year since she started it, it gets more and more arctic! Usually we only have a handful of runners and we will keep track of each other and make sure everyone gets back to their vehicles.
Directions to the start. Take highway 64 west out of Franklin about 10 miles, through Winding Stair Gap. Turn left at the brown sign which points the way to Standing Indian and Wallace Gap. Follow that road a couple miles and turn right into Standing Indian. (Well-signed). Follow the road all the way down and keep to the left at the Y-intersection. You will see the parking lot at the Backcountry Information Center.
Let us know if you want to come!