Rock2Rock 10k kicks of Asheville Mountain Sports Festival...

Tough trails...Hot competition...Gorgeous views...Support for the land we love...The 2009 Rock2Rock Trail Run, sponsored by Black Dome Mountain Sports, had everything you want in a series opener...

Asheville, NC - May 29th 2009 – The 3rd annual Rock2Rock 10k Trail Run saw beautiful weather, a grueling course and national caliber competition as the kick-off race for the 2009 LaSportiva Mountain Cup trail series.

2008 champions, Shiloh Mielke and Meadow Tarves were clear favorites…but, they would be challenged by top runners from around the country…all at the R2R to kick off their season in pursuit of the overall series prize money.

The men got to it quickly, with Philidelphia, PA's Matt Byrne, a US Mountain Running team member, and Mielke (Vasque) leading Jason Bryant (LaSportiva) and Aaron Saft (Inov8) up the 1800+ foot climb to the first of two spectacular rock face views. At the summit, it was Mielke and Byrne only seconds apart starting the decent. The rhododendron tunnels, blow downs and scree covered trails would decide the race as Mielke showed his downhill strength by pulling away on the highly technical terrain for a 2 minute course record win in 43:48! Byrne followed in 45:02 with Bryant collapsing at the finish, also under the old course record, in 45:32.

The women's race saw no such drama as Silverton CO's Megan Kimmel (LaSportiva) took control at the start and ripped 4 minutes from Meadow Tarves' (Inov8) course record from last year with a stunning 52:17 for tenth overall! Tarves also bested her 2008 time with 56:10 and the top 3 were rounded out by Keri Nelson (LaSportiva) with a 56:57.

It was all smiles and grimaces at the finish as runners ate, drank, related tales of woe from the course and enjoyed the spectacular mountain weather and the cold water of the Camp Rockmont lake. Race sponsor, Black Dome Mountain Sports, was able to raise over $500 for the Southern Appalachian Highlands Land Conservancy as well…All in all, a great day on the trails!...