Two beloved races—the Green Race and Shut-In—attract the region’s best paddlers and trail runners.

The first Saturday in November is always one of the most exciting: both the Green River Race and the Shut-In Ridge Trail Race are held on the same morning, and they are only about 30 miles from each other in Western North Carolina. The Green Race attracts the best paddlers in the world to plunge down class V rapids, and the 17.-8-mile Shut-In race, now in its 39th year, is one of the country’s toughest trail runs.

Luke Paulson by Andy Wickstrom.

At Shut-In this year, Luke Paulson bested a stacked field, finishing in 2:22:22. Anne Wheatly won the women’s race in 2:55:28.

At the Green Race, Dane Jackson was fastest down the river, finishing in 4 minutes, 10 seconds. Queen of the Green, Adriene “Lil’ A” Levknecht, won the women’s race for the tenth time.

Anne Wheatley by Andy Wickstrom.

(top) Queen of the Green Adriene Levknecht; Shut-In champs Luke Paulson (left) and Anne Wheatly right). / top photo by marc hunt, left and right photos by andy wickstrom