TOP 12 OUTDOOR EVENTS THIS MONTH


—BY BOAT, BOOT AND BIKE

THE DIRTY DOZEN

1. CHUPACABRA CHALLENGE SECOND BLOOD: DECEMBER 1, BOONE, N.C.


Famous last words: “It’s only a 5K.” Don’t be fooled. The Chupacabra Challenge Extreme 5K Trail Run is more than just another tasty morsel for the curious weekend warrior. It’s a nasty, cold, wet 3.2 mile rite of passage through the Boone Greenway Trail recreation area that will have you fording knee-deep streams, clambering up several steep and brutal exposed hill climbs and snaking through mossy rocky single/double track. Hosted by the Appalachian State University Cycling Team.


www.appstatecycling.com





2. RUN AT THE ROCK 7-MILER: DECEMBER 1, BURLINGTON, N.C.


What’s not to love about a race that begins with Revolutionary War cannon fire and ends with live entertainment and homemade soup? And yet, at Cedarock Park it’s still what happens between the start and finish lines that makes all the difference. This footrace has it all. Rocks, roots, woods, open field, rolling hills, and a waterfall to boot. The third annual Run at the Rock consists of a seven-mile trail loop, and proceeds from the race go to the Alamance County Recreation & Parks Department. 


www.runattherock.com





3. TRIPLE CROWN STONE FORT COMP: DECEMBER 1, LITTLE ROCK CITY, TENN. 


Whether you’re pulling down on some Southern rock or digging deep into your pockets, there’s more than one way to lend a hand to the region’s foremost advocate for climbing access and site preservation. Why not kill two birds with one stone at the Triple Crown Bouldering Series? Get your hands on some challenging problems and donate a little dough while you’re at it. Buy a shirt. Join the raffle. Purchase some concessions. Join the community. It all helps the SCC fight a rock solid cause. 


www.triplecrownbouldering.org

4. BOONE TOWN THROW-DOWN CYCLOCROSS RACE: DECEMBER 2, BOONE, N.C.


Let it all hang out in a race designed to leave you completely drained of mind, body and spirit in the best way possible. And if that leaves you feeling a bit concerned for your post-race well-being, consider this: there’s nothing quite so rejuvenating as laying to waste a brutal course in the dead of winter and living to brag about it. The Appalachian State University Cycling Team and Boone Bike Touring proudly host this grueling chapter of the NC Cyclocross Series in the heart of Boone. It’s time to throw down. www.appstatecycling.com





5. TOYS FOR TOTS MOUNTAIN BIKE RACE & ROAD RIDE: DECEMBER 2, GREENVILLE, S.C.


Sure, it’s better to give than to receive. But it’s best to give and then enjoy for yourself a friendly mountain bike race on the Bicycle Post Trails in Greenville. Or, if your personal favorite toy is a road bike, sign up for the 40-mile road ride instead. The entry fee is free when you arrive bearing an unwrapped toy greater than $15 in value. And let’s save the re-gifting procedures for the in-laws, ok? 


www.ecvelo.org





6. HELLGATE 100K: DECEMBER 8, FINCASTLE, VA.


“Sub 18-hour finishers will receive an award.” That’s enough to scare most folks away. Come to think of it, most anything directed by David Horton is enough to keep the masses on the couch with their shoes unlaced. This race starts near Bent Hellgate Creek, tours the nine circles of Hell, proceeds over the river and through the woods, and emerges 62.5 miles later at Camp Bethel. Did I mention that this footrace is run through the night in the bitter, unpredictable Virginia winter? 


www.extremeultrarunning.com



7. KING OF THE MOUNTAIN/SUBARU DEMO DAYS: DECEMBER 8-9, SNOWSHOE, W.VA.


Anyone can tell you that “nothing parties better than a rental.” Unless, of course, you forget to purchase renter’s insurance. So why not leave the rental thing to used cars and bowling shoes, and try your luck at something fresh, innovative, and stylish? Because something definitely parties better than a rental, and it’s called a free demo. While you’re at it, show off a little something of your own at the Slopestyle, Rail Jam, or Big Air competitions—all a part of the King of the Mountain weekend. 


www.snowshoemtn.com











8. NORTH CAROLINA CYCLO-CROSS SERIES RACE #8: DECEMBER 9, 


CARY, N.C.


There’s something to be said about a series finale. It provides that one opportunity you’ve been waiting for since the very beginning to leave it all on the course without jeopardizing the remainder of your season. Plus, it’s usually worth double points. The premier cyclo-cross series in the Tar Heel State is about to wrap up its 2007 season in Cary. Be there or be square. Can I say that?


www.nccyclocross.com





9. FREESTYLE RAIL JAM: DECEMBER 23, WINTERGREEN, VA.


Oh come all ye adrenalin junkies. Wintergreen’s Terrain Park is the place to be for this thrilling competition on the rails. It’s sponsored by Freestyle, and both skiers and boarders are welcome to stake their claim on the mountain. For more information, call the Ski Information Center at 434-325-2100. www.wintergreenresort.com





10. PARIS MOUNTAIN ROAD RACE: DECEMBER 15, GREENVILLE, S.C.


What goes up, must come back down. It’s the law. As such, the Greenville Track Club is once again hosting a 20K run to the top of Paris Mountain and back. This year will mark the 36th annual running of the Paris Mountain Road Race, and after all those years it has certainly earned the honors of being the South Carolina State 20K Championship. 


www. gvltrackclub.clubexpress.com





11. SOUTH CAROLINA FAT ASS 50K: DECEMBER 15, LANCASTER, S.C.


A Fat Ass race is a lot like an all-you-can-eat buffet (not just because of the name). You don’t expect to be served or catered to whatsoever in the buffet line. You can forget about being pampered. And you certainly don’t expect shirts or sweet prizes just for showing up. But you can always expect to get your fill and go home satisfied. Serve yourself at the South Carolina Fat Ass 50K – a one-course meal to fill any appetite. 


www.claudesinclair.com



12. MUD, SWEAT AND GEARS CYCLOCROSS SERIES RACE #6: DECEMBER 8, JOHNSON CITY, TENN.


‘Tis the season for cyclocross, and it’s nearly over. In fact, Race #6 is headed for Winged Deer Park on December 8th and it just so happens to be the Series’ finale. So shoulder that steed and be there with bells on, because this bad boy counts for double points. Besides, it’s your last chance to get down and dirty with the MSG Cyclocross Series in 2007, and that’s got to count for something. 


www.msgcross.com