More than 40 events are happening over the three-day weekend. Here are some of the most notable ones:
Mountain Disc Golf Experience: The out-of-town pros are still crying about the Richmond Hill Golf Course, considered one of the toughest in the country. Any local knows what they’re griping about — one bad throw at Richmond Hill, and your goose is cooked. The heavily wooded, 18-hole course boasts narrow fairways, impossible pars and insane elevation changes. If you think disc golf is a joke, take a walk down to hole 13. You’ll come away with a different opinion.
When: Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Directions: From downtown, take Lexington Avenue north. Hang a left at the I-26 intersection, and turn right on the French Broad bridge, at the sign for the Richmond Hill Inn. Take the next hard right at another sign for Richmond Hill Inn. Turn right at the T at the top of the hill, and take the second left. Go all the way down to the gravel road and follow the crowds.
Town Mountain Hill Climb: A festival staple. An Asheville staple. Heck, this grueling five-mile ride has been going on for two-and-a-half decades. The brutal ascent from downtown to the top of Town Mountain draws gluttons for punishment from around the state. New this year is a $500 prize for a male and/or female who set the course record.
When: Friday, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Directions: Take College Street east from downtown. Turn left on Town Mountain Road. Can’t miss it.
Adventure Race: Calling all maniacs. This 12-hour race will have contestants biking, running, paddling and leapfrogging willy-nilly across the mountains in a dizzying attempt to run themselves silly. Presented by Odyssey Adventure Racing, the event’s difficulty and excitement have made it an MSF favorite. This year’s end point has not been officially released, so keep your eyes open throughout the weekend for hints.
When: Sunday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunset Stampede: “This is an extraordinarily challenging event,” says organizer Jonathan Poston, “but it isn’t too much for a normal person to try.” The Stampede is another big draw for locals and pros alike, offering small cash prizes and other incentives. Runners can choose between four- and 10-mile races, both of which will lead them through downtown Asheville at sunset. Not a bad deal.
When: Saturday, 4 to 8 p.m.
Where: City/County Plaza
Kids events: Not just for grown-ups anymore. The MSF is offering a multitude of ways for youngsters to test their mettle, including climbing, ultimate Frisbee, a kids’ one-mile version of the Sunset Stampede and a relay race.