Aug. 27, 2012. Pirate Race Productions’ second annual running and cycling event, The Ascent presented by Magic Cycles once again proved to be a fun race and a great boost to the local economy. The event challenges both runners and cyclists to scale Reynolds Parkway at the Blue Ridge Mountain Club in Blowing Rock. One hundred racers from five states and Costa Rica lined up to face the challenge, spending over $3,000 while visiting the Boone area.
In the 3.7 mile run, the overall win was decided in an furious sprint, with 14 year old phenom Ethan Arboleda (Flat Rock, NC) just edging out Fernando Valera (Heredia, COSTA RICA) in 29:09.1, four minutes ahead of third place finisher Jack Brown (Lenoir, NC) who now sits atop the High Country Summit Series leader board . Emily Hutelmyer (Trade, TN) stood atop the women’s podium, a minute ahead of her closest rival, Melissa Dick (Blowing Rock, NC) who now leads her division in the High Country Summit Series. Runners will square off in the series finale at The Knob, taking place in Boone on Friday, October 5.
In the 9.25 mile bike race, Joe Carpisassi (Winston-Salem, NC) successfully defended his lead in the Capo Cycling King of Pain series, finishing in 47:39, just ahead of his two teammates from Mock Orange Bikes. Cara Chiarello (Smyrna, GA) celebrated her anniversary by crushing the women’s course record in a time of 1:03:10.3, ahead of Boone-Roubaix winner Donna Hill (Elon, NC) who still leads the series standings.
According to the post-race survey completed last week by 43 of the participants, the event attracted over 150 visitors to the High Country, spending $1,276.80 at area hotels and campgrounds. Participant spent $1,135.20 in restaurants, and $686.40 doing other shopping. Significantly, 97% of respondents indicated that as a result of their experience at the event they are “likely” or “highly likely” to return to to the Boone Area for cycling or running activities, and 76% for other activities or a vacation.Furthermore, 10 percent of respondents indicated that this was their first time visiting the Boone area. These data demonstrate that not only did the event make a positive impact on the local economy, but Pirate Race Productions again created new tourists who will return to the area and support local businesses for years to come.
Sponsorship investment is critical to the ability of High Country communities to host events and benefit from the tourism spending they generate. Thanks to the generous support of the Watauga County Tourism Development Agency, and local businesses such at Magic Cycles, Abby Design and Construction, and the Blue Ridge Mountain Club, Pirate Race Productions can continue to deliver weatherproof tourists that spend generously, and generate new, long-term, repeat visitors, growing the national reputationof the Boone Area as an active outdoor destination.
Pirate Race Productions is dedicated to staging and promoting athletic events that are incredibly fun for our participants, valuable marketing opportunities for our sponsors, a positive contribution to our host communities, and provide great entertainment for our spectators. Visit BikeHighCountry.com to learn about tons of fun events including Three Peaks USA, the Abby Construction Cyclocross Series, the Wilkesboro Cyclocross Festival, Boone-Roubaix: The Hell of the High Country, and The Ascent