ROAN MOUNTAIN 10K
Start and finish on Hwy 143 in Roan Mountain State Park (North East of Johnson City). The course follows the highway downhill for 2 miles and then turns onto Heaton Creek Rd for one mile. At mile 3, a sharp left turn takes you up some steep hills to the mid-peak at 2900 feet. A steep descent takes you to Sugar Hollow Valley, with a rolling downhill back to Hwy 143. Two miles back up to an uphill finish at the Lodge. Considered the second-hardest course on the Tour after Norris Dam.
The first race was scheduled in 1984, the week after Thanksgiving. However, the race was snowed in and had to be re-scheduled for March 2, 1985. Three years later, it became the last race of the fall season, replacing the discontinued Mountaineer 10K at Fall Creek Falls. Snow or sleet, the race was held every year with about 40-60 participants. Mike Woodworth was the first Race Director, then Rob Schoborg until 2014. In 1993, it became the first race until the start of the Halloween Hunt in 1995. In 2006 the date was switched with the new Pilot Knob and became the third week of October at the peak of the tree color changing. The course is USAT&F certified, but no personal records are expected. *In 2009, the course had to be changed to approximately 5 miles, due to ongoing road construction, up Highway 143 for 2.5 miles. After the race, many participants drive the 6 miles to the North Carolina state line and walk a few miles on the Appalachian Trail, where many interesting characters may be encountered. In 2015 this race was canceled but resumed in 2016 with Meg Guy as Race Director. After 2020 Bob Townsend became race director until the race was discontinued in 2023.