Something new is coming to the Southeast this weekend. Now, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who considers running, kayaking, mountain biking, drinking beer or Standup paddleboarding new (well, maybe SUP), but throwing them all together in a multi-sport festival in North Carolina is new. The Green River Games makes its debut this weekend in and around the outdoor mecca of Saluda, NC, it what could be the next great sporting event to dominate the scene in WNC. Organizer John Grace channels the uber-popular, uber-stylish, uber-West GoPro Mountain Games (formerly the Teva Mountain Games), and hopes to craft the Green River Games into the East’s counterpart. He is well on his way with a robust lineup of races and events that will get the ball rolling and build momentum in year one.
The games kick off with Friday evening with a 6k road race up Green River Cove Road (17 switchbacks!) finishing in downtown Saluda and the official Kickoff Party. Things just ramp up from there with the Oskar Blues Enduro Mountain Bike Race, Southern Raft Supply Mountain SUP Race, and Sierra Nevada Silverback on Saturday. The Silverback is the capstone race of the games, testing the skill and endurance of the area’s best athletes with an outdoor triathlon the likes of which we may never see again. It starts with a kayak run down the famous Green River Narrows, then goes right into an 8-mile mountain bike ride through the rugged Green River Game Lands, and culminates with competitors having to run the same rugged 8-mile course they just biked – all self-supported. Luckily, Saturday night is also the Green River Reggae & Beer Festival at the aptly named Party Place, so there will be time to blow off some steam. Sunday’s events include and exhibition SUP race, Liquidalogic Upper Green River Race, and Big Hungry 10K and half marathon trail races.
As you can tell by the names of some of these races, there will be plenty of adult beverages on hand for both competitors and spectators. This could prove to be one of the biggest event/parties in the region this year, and for many years to come, so you’ll want to be able to say you were at the first one, even as a spectator/beer consumer. So head on down to Saluda this weekend and drink in the action at the inaugural Green River Games.
Check out their website for more info on the races, parties, and events going down this weekend.