Frequently Asked Questions

  • When does registration open? September 1st

  • How does the lottery work? The Challenge accepts lottery applicants, starting on September 1st, for 10 days. Then the Challenge field is set, the runners are notified of the results and the Marathon opens for first come on September 16th - first serve entries.

  • I've heard that we might not be able to hit the Summit if it snows? We work closely with multiple local, state and federal agencies to ensure your safety and provide the best race experience possible. In order to access the Mount Mitchell State Park with our aid station crews and volunteers, we must first be allowed vehicular access via the Blue Ridge Parkway. If that is not possible, we will work with authorities to provide alternative course options that still ensure a challenging day on the trail!

  • I'm registered and can't run, what are my options? We have a drop date of January 1st for deferrals or refunds. If you drop before this date, you can defer your full entry to the following year OR get a refund minus $30. After the 1/1 date we unfortunately have no refunds or deferrals. 

  • Is there a map of the course? Yes, we do have a map. it is posted on this site. We have changed the course within the State Park over the years however. Currently we run the Old Mitchel Trail from Stepps Gap to the Summit and then descend via State Rd 128. Some interactive maps are found here.

  • Is there a place for me to drop gear along the course? No. We have a "pack in / pack out" rule. Everything you start with, you need to finish with.

  • How many aid stations? 10 in the Challenge and 6 in the Marathon. They will have water, Gatorade, oranges, bananas, salty & sweet snacks. Some also have hot soup.