by Madison Fisler Lewis
Sept. 10, 2014. On Friday, Oct. 10, the High Country Triple Crown will conclude with the last race of the year, The Knob.
“The Knob is the last race in the High Country Triple Crown Series, which also includes the High Country Half Marathon and the Cub,” said Mary Sheryl Horine, who organizes the event.
“This will be the tenth year of The Knob and it is scheduled right before Appalachian’s homecoming.”
The Knob is a grueling, 2-mile ascent up Howard’s Knob, which climbs nearly 1,000 feet above the town of Boone. The race is known not only for its challenging nature, but also for the beautiful views of the fall foliage that come with participating.
This year, however, a new race has been added to be run on the same course, only backwards!
The Bonk (which is Knob spelled backwards) will be held simultaneously and on the same route, but instead of starting at the bottom and running to the top, participants will run or walk down the steep incline in a non-competitive race.
“A lot of people have contacted us and want to participate in the Triple Crown Series, but there wasn’t really a race for casual runners,” Horine said. “One is a seven mile race, one is a half marathon and the Knob is two miles straight uphill. So we wanted to add on something that casual runners could do. The Bonk will start at the top and participants can run or walk down. This way, we are hoping more people will be able to participate.”
The Knob will begin on Friday, Oct. 10 at 5:30 p.m. at the Watauga County Public Library and continues onto Queen Street and onto the Bear Trail and finishes out in Howard’s Knob Park. The Bonk will begin at Howard’s Knob Park and will follow the same route as the Knob, only backwards, and will finish up at the Watauga County Library.
“Part of the idea is that if you have a friend or family member running The Knob, you would be able to cheer for them as you passed them.” Horine said. “Spectators are welcome and can also take advantage of the shuttles. After both runs are done, we will have an awards ceremony. We have $1,500 in cash prizes that will go out to the overall winners of the Triple Crown. Top three males and females and grand master males and females. After that we will have regular age group awards for the Knob.”
Registration for the races has already begun. Registration is available here and is $20 until Sept. 22. After Sept. 22 the registration cost will rise to $30.
“One hundred percent of the proceeds from the three races benefit Girls on the Run of the High Country for program supplies, t-shirts and scholarships that we offer for girls to be able to participate in the program,” Horine said.
Day-of registration is also available.
The event is still in need of volunteers to help the races go smoothly. Those wanting to volunteer can get in touch with Mary Sheryl Horine by email at [email protected]
For more information about these races click here.