As my better half Katharine and I embarked on our move back to North Carolina, we filled the four day gap between our DC move-out date and our Durham move-in date by taking a trip to Boone. We visited often in college and absolutely love the peace and beauty of the mountains.
The mountain training isn’t very specific to the upcoming XTERRA East Championship on June 14th, but served as a good initiation to the challenges I’ll face at the XTERRA mountain and national championships later this year.
The terrain makes it hard to have an easy day unless you get a shuttle uphill!
My bread and butter route is up and down Rich Mountain Road, a quiet gravel road that climbs up ~1,200 ft to its crest between Snake Mountain and Rich Mountain, both from its northern terminus at US-421 as well as the south end at Meat Camp Road. It’s perfect for gravel road hill repeats, with sustained climbing that averages just under a 10% gradient. During the climbs I look forward to the adrenaline packed descents, which help hone the art of cornering on loose terrain at high speeds.
An offshoot of Rich Mountain Road is a development with a paved road that climbs to the back of Elk Knob State Park. Here’s a video of the fun part.
A little later that day, I took in the sunset at the crest of Rich Mountain Road before we had to head back to Durham.
In less than two weeks, I’ll toe the line again at the XTERRA East Championship in Richmond, VA. Thanks for reading.