Do you have what it takes? Come test your hill climbing skills at the inaugural High Knob Hellbender 10K run in Norton, Va. on October 4, 2014.

The 6.2-mile run is sure to be a mind-bending, heart-pounding, leg-crushing race to the top of High Knob, a more than 4,000-foot peak in the far corner of Southwest Virginia. The course begins in downtown Norton and climbs more than 2,000 feet to the mountain’s summit. A new observation tower atop High Knob offers a 360-degree view of distant peaks as far away as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and West Virginia.

The inspiration for the race’s namesake is not only the hell-bending curves runners must navigate as they climb the mountain, but also the Eastern Hellbender – a large aquatic salamander that can be found in Virginia throughout the streams and tributaries of the New River drainage as well as in the Clinch, Powell, and Holston River tributaries of the Upper Tennessee River.

All race proceeds will benefit the Clinch Coalition, a nonprofit group focused on protecting and preserving public lands within the Clinch Ranger District of the Jefferson National Forest.

The top three men and women finishers and overall masters man and woman will receive awards.

Online registration ends at midnight Friday, Oct. 3. Race day registration begins at 7:30 a.m. The race begins at 9 a.m. Register for the High Knob Hellbender and treat yourself to a challenge!

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