Spartan Race Asheville struggled for a year, unable to garner enough interest back in 2014 for a race. 2015 changed that and has since become a favorite venue among southern and east coast racers. Weaving through a massive quarry or granite, dirt, and mud, your reward will be vistas overlooking spruce-fir forests.
As a relatively local racer, HEXT teammate Amber offered her recap of her race as well as some insight of the course set-up and climbs.
Location: Black Mountain, North Carolina
Length: 8.2 miles
Elevation: 1,800ft of gain
Terrain: Dense forest trails and gravel roads
Experienced and Ready
This was my second year racing the NBC southeast showdown in Asheville, NC. Just like last year,
it did not disappoint! Several days of rain left the course muddy and technical but it made way for perfect race day weather starting out in the 60’s and low humidity. The race this year was slightly easier, with the removal of the largest and steepest hill climb but still included the long creek crossing, swim, and back to back obstacles staged in the middle of the race and at the end.
NBC Set Up
They definitely beef up the NBC races for TV. The course loops back around near the main venue halfway through where they feature several obstacles. The last quarter mile of the course featured the rope climb, Olympus, tire flip, twister, and ring multi-rig all back to back before the finish line. Talk about needed grip strength stamina and a great design for spectators!
I felt confident going into Asheville Super! A solid 12 week block of strict running coaching, a new 5 mile PR, and the addition of American Ninja Warrior training left me feeling fast and strong. While I did feel confident, I knew this was going to be a stacked race. Many of the Pro team members and some of the best east coast racers make their way out to this venue.
Bee Obstacles and Mud Wars
Overall, I was very happy with my performance. I ran most of the course, with the exception of the
steep wooded trails. I definitely could tell that all of my hill training paid off. Due to the excessive mud, many of the obstacles were more challenging than normal.
In particular the rope climb, Olympus, and twister were much more difficult. This is where all of the grip work and upper body strength from ninja training paid off!
In addition to the muddy course, just like last year, they also put the course right through a bee’s nest. This time, I wasn’t as lucky.
A sting to the back of the arm was all I need to sprint up the rest of the hill climb haha! I guess motivation and second winds can come in all shapes and sizes?
Pays to Know The Course
I learned from last year to start the race off relatively slowly, but maybe not as slow as I would in other races. I knew Asheville had a quick, flat section before the long creek crossing. This is a great opportunity to separate yourself from the bulk of the back. The creek crossing is slow and technical and for the most part single file. It’s a great opportunity to get ahead and use the creek to catch your breath and slow the heart rate back down.
Next Up for Amber
My next and last OCR race of the year is Fayetteville Super unless I make my way up to the OCRWC. My fall and winter will be comprised mostly of ninja competitions along the east coast.
Follow Amber's training and adventures on