Cool temperatures and a warm welcome await runners June 10-11, 2016, as Beech Mountain hosts its annual “A Cool 5” race weekend.
A total of five races take place over two days, providing something for all ages and abilities. Another highlight is the “Taste of Beech” celebration Friday evening that showcases food from various restaurants on Beech Mountain.
The centerpiece of the weekend is a challenging 5-mile race on Saturday, June 10. It starts at 8:30 a.m. in front of Town Hall and follows a diverse road course that begins at an elevation of nearly 5,000 feet and eventually climbs above 5,400 feet to some of the highest points on Beech Mountain before winding back down for the finish.
The 5-miler includes plenty of ups and downs, punctuated by great vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Along the route, runners will see Grandfather Mountain, Roan Mountain, Mount Mitchell and even a glimpse of the yellow brick road at the old Land of Oz theme park.
Saturday’s other two events are a 1.5-mile Fun Run/Walk and a pet-friendly 1.5-mile Walk & Wag. Both of these races begin at 8:30 a.m. and cover flatter terrain.
Friday’s schedule includes two less-strenuous events – a Kids’ Cool Popsicle Relay and a “Buck-A-Thon” fundraising run/walk – followed by the “Taste of Beech” food event. All three take place at the town’s Buckeye Recreation Center. The Popsicle relay offers competition in different age groups. The “Buck-A-Thon” features runners/walkers collecting dollars for each lap they complete on the Buckeye Rec Center walking track.
Adult entry fees for the 5-mile race are $25 prior to race day and $30 on race day. Adult entry fees for the Fun Run/Walk and Walk & Wag are $20 prior to race day and $25 on race day. Children 12 and under may register for all events at any time for $10.
Race participants and their families are encouraged to take advantage of special lodging rates (see below) available throughout the weekend. There will be other family-friendly events taking place that weekend as part of Beech Mountain’s June Family Fun Month.
For more info about A Cool 5 Weekend or to register, go to the official event website, or call 828-387-3003.
A Cool 5 is not just a weekend of races. Since 2008, proceeds from A Cool 5 have created and improved recreational resources for Beech Mountain residents and visitors. Projects have included children’s playgrounds, hiking and biking trails, scenic overlooks and an ADA accessible community fishing dock.
History, Mission & Projects
A Cool 5 Race began in June of 2008 as a community project to raise funds to enhance the recreational opportunities on Beech Mountain for our residents and visitors. In the past, if you were not participating in the actual race, you were part of the community that came together to make the race one of the most memorable outdoor experiences in a racer’s life. The long-range views as you race across the ridge at over 5,400 feet of elevation and the exceptional hospitality of everyone involved with the event make A Cool 5 a unique race and one that individuals return to year after year.
The event has grown from a single race into a weekend celebration on Beech Mountain full of family fun and fitness for participants of all ages and skill levels. This year the event will consist of 5 different races held over a two day period emphasising outdoor activity and showcasing the beauty of Beech Mountain.
This year’s races vary in intensity and character. Our challenging 5 Mile run is famous for its outstanding views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and a fast downhill finish. The 1.5 mile Fun-Run/Walk has moderate elevation changes with many locations for spectators to cheer and encourage all racers.
On pet-friendly Beech Mountain, we even have a race for “man’s best friend”. The 1.5 Mile Walk and Wag circles around the Bark Park and is complete with doggy water and treat stations. And we don’t forget the kids. The Cool 5 Weekend kicks off with the Kids’ Cool Popsicle Relay on Friday night and children are welcome to participate in any of the other races. Our last race is one for the entire community. A Cool 5 Weekend has something for everyone to do and enjoy.
The Cool 5 is not just a racing event. Over the past seven years, proceeds from the Cool 5 have created and improved recreational resources for Beech Mountain residents and visitors to enjoy. Projects have included children’s playgrounds, hiking and biking trails, ADA accessible community fishing dock, and Buckeye Recreation Centers’ catering kitchen.
Your participation in the Cool 5 will directly inject funds into the community to help us expand the wonderful Parks and Recreational amenities and fun activities we enjoy on Beech Mountain.