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Beech Mountain’s Emerald Outback Hosts 2013 N.C. Championship Snowshoe Race Saturday – Snow or Shine

By Jesse Wood

Jan. 9, 2012. Beech Mountain’s Emerald Outback hosts the 2013 N.C. State Championship Snowshoe Race on Saturday, January 12, 2012, at 9 a.m.

The 10K race costs $10 and features three categories – junior, men and women, while the 5K fun run features a women’s and men’s category that costs $10 and a kids’ snowshoe scramble that costs $5.

The sanctioned 10K race will serve as a national qualifier for the 2013 Dion National Championships to be held in Bend, Ore., on March 15 to 17, 2013.

Both the 5K and 10K courses are set in the Emerald Outback, which is a new trail network atop Beech Mountain. Brie Powell, program coordinator for Buckeye Recreation Center, said the race is spectator friendly and the Emerald Outback is a gorgeous, wooded area with more than 5,000 feet of elevation.

This unique trail system boasts a wide range of trail difficulty, a fantastic blend of single and double track trails and gravel roads, and gorgeous long range views, all nestled above 4700 feet in elevation, making it the highest adventure trail park on the east coast.

“It’s simply pristine. There’s no other way to describe it,” Powell said.

Snowshoes make it easier for people to walk in the snow by distributing one’s weight so their foot doesn’t sink in the snow.

“If you can walk you can snowshoe. That’s the beauty of it and to make travel by foot easier,” Powell said, adding that the sport of snowshoeing is just becoming popular on the East Coast.

Even if it doesn’t snow, Powell said the races will still take place without snowshoes, but people will still be able to demo the snowshoes on the grassy field if they want.

If Mother Nature does not supply snow, the race will go on. It will be held as a winter trail run, if trail conditions permit. A minimum of six inches of natural snowfall are required for snowshoes to be utilized safely. There will be limited snowshoes available for demo only, so participants are strongly encouraged to bring their own snowshoes or arrange for rentals prior to race weekend.

Onsite, same-day registration is available, or click links below to register online. For more information, call Powell at 828-387-3003.

Register for 10K race here: www.prerace.com/races/event/44210/North-Carolina-State-10K-Championship-Snowshoe-Beech%20Mountain-NC

Register for 5K race here: www.prerace.com/races/event/44268/NC-State-Championship-Snowshoe-Fun-Run-5K-Beech%20Mountain-NC