The Peak to Creek Marathon, a 26.2 mile foot race from Jonas Ridge to Brown Mountain Beach, returned to Burke County on October 26, 2013. The race started at the U.S. Post Office in Jonas Ridge and followed a scenic course through the Pisgah National Forest to Brown Mountain Beach Resort in Caldwell County. Nearly 300 runners from twenty states, Canada, and Tansania took part in the event this year.
This year’s overall winner of the race, formerly known as the Ridge to Bridge Marathon, was Justin King of Indian Trail, NC, who won in a course record time of 2 hours, 41 minutes, and 22 seconds. The top female finisher was Deborah Dawson of Fort Mill, SC, who finished in 3 hours, 13 minutes, and 45 seconds.
Proceeds of this year’s event will benefit the new host organization, the Burke Council on Alcoholism and Chemical Dependency. The race was directed by long-time race directors David and Rhonda Lee, who started the event in 2006.
The Peak to Creek Marathon is an unusual course, featuring nearly 2,800 of elevation loss over the first half of the race. This guarantees some very fast times over the first 13 miles. It can also mean some very sore legs for those who come unprepared. For many of the runners, it is the descent that is one of the most attractive features of the race, and many of these runners see an opportunity to improve their chances of finishing the race quickly enough to qualify for entry into the world’s oldest and most prestigious event, the Boston Marathon.
One of the keys to the longstanding success of the event is the support of the marathon’s volunteers. Some ninety energetic and enthusiastic supporters handed out water and energy drinks at aid stations along the 26.2 mile course, helped direct the runners along the route, or handed out finisher’s medals and blankets at the finish line. For their efforts they were rewarded with marathon a hearty post-race lunch, and, most importantly, the genuine appreciation of the runners. Of the nearly runners who take part each year, many have made the trip more than once.
Anyone interested in volunteering for next year’s Peak to Creek Marathon may call the Burke Council on Alcoholism and Chemical Dependency or send an email to [email protected]. Details of the race can be found on the BCACD web site at www.bcacd.org.