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October 16, 2004

USA Trail Marathon Championship Set For Dupont Forest

Scott Parrott
Hendersonville Times-News Staff Writer


DUPONT STATE FOREST -- Organizers placed the final touches on the 26-mile marathon course Saturday, in preparation for today's 2004 DuPont Forest Trail Marathon.

The race, which starts at 9 a.m., is expected to draw nearly 200 runners from around the nation to the starting line near the old Guion Farm off Sky Valley Road. The event also will feature the Park Ridge Relay at 9:30 a.m. and the Pardee Power Run for Children at 10 a.m.

Organizers kept an eye on that starting line Saturday, not to mention the sky.

Strong rains from Hurricanes Ivan and Frances washed ruts into the dirt road where the race will launch and end. Workers used earth moving equipment to repair the damage Saturday. And extra volunteers helped unload water and mark the course on all-terrain vehicles.

Greg Walker, director of the Henderson County Family YMCA and a marathon organizer, worried more damage could appear overnight, as heavy winds, sometimes reaching 25 mph, pounded the trees lining the course the day before the marathon. "If any trees fell, we'd have to leave them," he said.

But runners may be in luck. The National Weather Service on Saturday forecast partly cloudy skies today, with light winds and highs in the mid-60s. That could translate into nice, cool weather for running, or simply watching.

This year's course offers spectators three viewing sites, on Guion Farm, in Buck Forest and near Fawn Lake. They are also good places to park.

Guion Farm is located off Sky Valley Road and is where the marathon will begin and end. To get there from Hendersonville, take Kanuga/Crab Creek Road west to the Transylvania County line, turn left on DuPont Road, then take the next left on Sky Valley Road. Guion Farm is on the right.

The Buck Forest entrance is off DuPont/Staton Road. Follow the same directions as above but instead of turning left on Sky Valley Road, stay on DuPont Road, which turns to Staton Road after crossing into Transylvania County. After you cross the Little River at Hooker Falls parking lot, look for the Buck Forest entrance on the left. For the Fawn Lake entrance, follow the same directions as above, but continue past the Buck Forest entrance to the end of Staton Road and turn left on Cascade Lake Road. Turn left onto Reasonover Road just before Cascade Road intersects U.S. 276 at Cedar Mountain. The Fawn Lake entrance is off Reasonover Road on the left.









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