Scenes from Shut-In Ridge

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In the fall the coveted Shut-In Ridge Trail Race celebrated its 40th anniversary.

The rugged race is a classic staple within the thriving Asheville running community, or as this year’s winner Devin deHoll calls it, “the crown jewel in the western North Carolina running scene,” which attracts top athletes and crowds of supporting spectators. The rocky, leaf-covered 17.8-mile course relentlessly climbs more than 3,000 feet from Bent Creek to the Mount Pisgah parking lot, and the route that parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway gives fans good viewpoints to cheer on runners as they push it through the mountains. 

“This race will call your bluff no matter how close to the finish line you are. The course continues to get harder as the race goes on. It is easily possible to lose 10-20 minutes in the final relentless and grueling two miles.”

— Devin deHoll, Shut-In winner with a time of 2:21:33

“There is a story behind the route. The race takes place on the historic Shut-In Ridge Trail which traces the route that the Vanderbilts used to go from the French Broad River to George Vanderbilt’s cabin towards the top of Mount Pisgah. The course maintains much of its ‘old-school’ character. Trail running has become so trendy these days that it is very refreshing to a have race doing many of the same things it was 30 and 40 years ago.”

—Luke Paulson, 2018 Shut-In winner and last year’s third-place finisher with a time of 2:24:43

“Almost all of the aid stations are overflowing with cheering spectators. Some races are about inner determination but this one is about the strength of community.”

—Anne Wheatly, 2019 women’s winner with a time of 3:06:29 

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