The event kicks off Friday, May 27, at 5 p.m. and continues through Sunday, May 29. Admission to the Festival Village at Carrier Park is free. All races and events offer preregistration. Demonstrations and clinics, however, are first-come, first-served, so plan on arriving early. The competitive events vary in cost, availability and location. Advanced registration for each of the specific events is recommended.
Rock 2 Rock Trail Run
The Rock 2 Rock Trail Run provides trail runners with the best of both worlds: a challenging course in a beautiful setting. Runners take on steep climbs and coast through lush forests and scenic wilderness during this run, making it easy to see why it is one of the most popular events of the weekend.
Iron Kids Challenge
Kids love to run, climb and have a good time. The Iron Kids Challenge provides all of that and more for eager youngsters looking to test themselves during this multisport adventure race. The event recurs several times throughout the weekend and is open to young athletes of all ages.
Cyclocross bike racing
The old speedway, which formerly featured fossil-fuel-burning race cars, is now home to a horde of pedal-powered speed demons who like to incorporate a little competition into their cycling workouts. This year, cyclocross, an event that is exciting to watch and participate in is coming to the speedway.
Urban Mountain Bike Race
Now in its second year, the Urban Mountain Bike Race combines a grueling sprint down the Wilma Dykeman Greenway, a challenging climb up the pavement to a nearby park and a couple of laps through the technical and fast singletrack trails before ripping it back to the Festival Village for what is sure to be an exciting finish.
Wheel Ride for Food Century Ride
Participants of this event help fight hunger by cranking out either a century ride (100 miles), metric century ride (in this race, 65 miles) or half metric century ride (about 32 miles) on some of Asheville's most scenic roadways. In recent years, the Wheel Ride for Life Century Ride has raised more than $40,000 to help feed those in need in Asheville through the Meals on Wheels program.
Disc golf clinics and competitions
By merging Frisbee tossing, friendly competition and a bit of strenuous hiking through a beautiful forest setting, disc golf has become one of Asheville's most popular pastimes. This year, multiple clinics and events will be held at Festival Park aimed at helping disc golfers hone their skills and compete against one another.
Climbing clinics, demos and a competition
The Festival Village will feature climbing clinics, shoe demos and more provided by Fox Mountain Guides throughout the weekend. On Saturday, ClimbMax Climbing Center will host BoulderMax, an indoor bouldering competition that will pit participants against a variety of freshly set routes for a chance to win cash prizes.
Fly fishing clinics
Trout Unlimited will present fly fishing clinics throughout the weekend at Festival Village. A series of clinics by experienced anglers will provide helpful tips on casting techniques, water reading and fish finding, as well as an ongoing fly-tying demonstration at the Trout Unlimited tent.
For years, the Riverlink Triathlon was a popular event that drew athletes from all over the country to test themselves on and near the French Broad River. The contest returns to Asheville this year and kicks off with a half-mile sprint to the river, a two and a half mile paddle and an 11-mile bike loop down Riverside Drive before making the 2.9-mile run back to Festival Village.
For more information and a full schedule, visit www.mountainsportsfestival.com.