Running - Event

Asheville Marathon, North Carolina 2018: Get the Complete Details You Need

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Runners who are looking for a unique and one-of-its-kind racing experience should definitely look-out for the Asheville marathon that is being organized on March 17th and 18th, 2018. The peculiarity of this event is that it is entirely organized on the private property known as the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. The Biltmore Estate is America’s largest backyard!
This event is open to only 1500 participants and only the first 1500 runners to register on their website will be allowed to take part.

Read on to know more details about this fantastic event. You will know all about Biltmore marathon, with details regarding the race format, the distance to be covered in different formats, the terrain of the course and information about registration and accommodation. 

About Biltmore Estate

The Biltmore Estate was constructed in 1895 and belongs to the Vanderbilt family. The building has more than 250 rooms and covers a huge area of almost 180,000 square feet of covered space.

Biltmore Estate
Biltmore Estate

In addition, the sprawling manicured gardens are about 75 acres of land, making the estate the biggest private home in the whole of USA. The estate also boasts of a private bowling alley, a big library spreading over two floors and a big indoor swimming pool. Such is the beauty of the estate that it has earned a spot in the US National Register of Historic Places. The estate is open for paid tours by the public on normal days but has recently generated huge interest because of the upcoming Asheville marathon.

Racing Formats in the Asheville Marathon

The event will include two formats of racing- the marathon and the half marathon. Both events will have the same starting and finishing lines, but will differ in the course details.

The Asheville marathon course map includes vast meadows, hardwood forests and immaculate gardens, all of which are part of the Biltmore estate. The terrain will vary from paved road to gravel, and some sections will require running on dirt trails. The exclusivity of this event is evident by the fact that pre-race previewing of the course or practice running isn’t allowed.

The Asheville marathon will cover the standard 26.2-mile distance as per the official guidelines. On the other hand, the Asheville half marathon will require runners to complete 13.1 miles in the sprawling estate gardens. The course consists of rolling hills, trails of dirt and gravel, slopes, slanting pavements and uneven surfaces that will provide just the right amount of challenge to all participants. The full course has been certified by USATF. Bib chip timing will be used to track the performance of all the participants.

Asheville marathon
Asheville marathon (source)

Registration Fee for the Event

The fee for participating in the half marathon is $130 and for the full marathon, it is $145. Interested runners are encouraged to register as soon as possible to avoid the increase in registration fees as the event approaches.

Rules for the Event

Managing a grand event like the Asheville marathon is not easy. Therefore, the event will follow strict guidelines for smooth functioning. The important rules and regulations pertaining to the event are highlighted in the following section.

  • All participants are encouraged to register for the event in advance because there will be no registrations on the race day.
  • In case the event is canceled due to bad weather, there will be no refund.
  • All vehicles must be parked in the designated parking areas only.
  • Entry for spectators does not include access to the Biltmore estate. However, tickets can be upgraded to include access.
  • The course should always be free of wheeled vehicles. Even wheelchairs are not allowed on the race course.
  • Participants have to wear the bib timer at all times to be considered for the race result.

For the detailed list of rules and guidelines to be followed at Biltmore estate on the race day, the reader is encouraged to check their official website.

Race Details: Half Marathon

If you choose to take part in the Biltmore half marathon, your course will mostly cover the east part of the estate’s garden. All the participants of this format must be off the course within 3.5 hours of starting. The half marathoners will share about 10 miles of their course with the full marathoners.

This course begins with a series of looped trails on the course. It begins with twists and turns to be covered around the Antler Hill village, then going around the Deerpark Restaurant and proceeding towards the Biltmore House. From here, the course proceeds into the massive sculpted and manicured garden, making its way through the immaculately cut bushes, and then heading towards the lagoon. The final few miles are dirt trails before the course rounds up towards the Antler village again, and ends there.

asheville marathon route
Half marathon route (source)

Race Details: Full Marathon

If you decide to take part in the Asheville city marathon in the full marathon format, your course will start with the half marathoners. You will pass through Antler hill village, Deerpark Restaurant, Biltmore house and the garden with the half marathoners. From the garden area, your course will take you towards the west wing of the garden while the half marathoners will take the road back to Antler Hill village.

In the west wing, two tall hills that together make the first seven miles of this course. The next section is either flat or downhill slope and will give a cycling experience of rolling hills and valleys. The terrain in this region alternates between gravel, paved path, dirt trails and rocky roads.

Overall, about a third of the race will be on properly paved tracks and the rest will be on the uneven surface. All participants of the Asheville marathon must be off the course within 6.5 hours of the start time.

Locations of Water and Food Stations through the Course

The participants of the Asheville Marathon at Biltmore estate will have a regular supply of water and refreshments like electrolytes and basic energy snacks throughout the course. Here are the details of the locations of various water and food stations for the half marathon event:

  • Deerpark (only water)
  • Biltmore House
  • Bearpin
  • French Broad River
  • Dairy road

In addition to the above points, marathoners will also have water and food stations at the following points on their course:

  • West Side Bridge
  • Alta Vista
  • Pine Top

For exact locations of these stations, the participants will be provided with the Asheville marathon course map so that they can plan their run better.

Race Packages for Participants

This exclusive racing event comes with the possibility to turn your participation into a luxurious running experience. You may choose one of the following VIP packages for the Asheville marathon and turn your race into a fantastic memory for a lifetime.

Gold Gilding Package

This package costs $695. It is open only for 25 participants and includes the following perks:

  • Personal massage before the race.
  • Two tickets to the exclusive pre-race dinner with VIP seating alongside the race Director.
  • Guided Winery tour and wine tasting session.
  • Deluxe goodie bag for the runner.
  • Personal welcome at the start line of the race.
  • One bottle of commemorative limited-edition wine.
  • VIP race swag.
  • VIP shuttle to the race venue.
  • Full estate access on race day.
  • VIP access to pre-event parties.
  • Priority access at the race expo.
gold gliding package
Gold Gilding Package (source)

Silver Gilding Package

This package costs $495 and is open to only 25 participants. It includes the following perks:

  • Two tickets to the exclusive pre-race dinner with the Race Director
  • One bottle of commemorative limited-edition wine.
  • Guided Winery tour and wine tasting session.
  • Deluxe goodie bag for the runner.
  • Two shuttle passes to Biltmore estate on race day.
  • Full estate access on race day.
  • VIP access to pre-event parties.
  • Priority access at the race expo.
silver gliding
Silver Gilding Package (source)

Bronze Gilding Package

This package costs $395. It is open only for 25 participants and includes the following perks:

  • One pre-race dinner ticket and seating with the Race Director.
  • Two shuttle passes to Biltmore estate on race day.
  • Full estate access on race day.
  • VIP access to pre-event parties.
  • Priority access at the race expo.

Special Challenges for Tough Runners

For those of you who are not satisfied with just one marathon or half marathon, Asheville marathon organizers have come up with another challenge. If you want to run two events in two days, you can opt for one of the following:

- The Backyard to Vineyard Challenge

This challenge will require you to run the half marathon on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday.

- The Backyard to Backyard Challenge

This challenge requires you to run two consecutive half marathons over one weekend.

The brave-hearts who complete these challenges will be rewarded accordingly. Backyard to Backyard challenge finishers will receive a Saturday Half Marathon Woodalion, a Sunday Half Marathon Woodalion, and a Special Edition Challenge Medal. Backyard to Vineyard Challenge finishers will be awarded the Half Marathon Woodalion, the Full Marathon Woodalion, and a Special Edition Challenge Medal.

Participating in these challenges is a way to improve your performance and to set higher goals for yourself. The special rewards given upon completing these challenges are surely a great morale booster.

Asheville Marathon Training Program

Organizers have appointed ChiRunning as the official partners for training for Asheville marathon 2018. It is recommended that participants register with ChiRunning to practice and perform better in the marathon event. Participants of marathons and half marathons in North Carolina are encouraged to train together on weekends. Participants who don’t reside in the region should avail the online training resources of ChiRunning.

When you enroll for Asheville marathon training program for either the full or half marathon, you get the following perks:

  • Discounted registration fees for the main event
  • Complete training plan according to your event
  • Classroom training for techniques
  • Training runs on surfaces that are similar to those on the Asheville marathon course map 
  • Optional weekend group runs with other participants

Also check, Ultimate Marathon Running Guide - From Start to Finish

Accommodation for the Asheville Marathon

asheville marathon
The half marathon covers the east part of the Estate (source)

Event organizers have partnered with some hotels and inns in Asheville to facilitate boarding and lodging of participants and their families. Partner hotels and inns offer a reduced tariff upon presenting the Asheville half marathon discount code that will be given to you upon registration.

Some of the partnering hotels and inns for the event are:

  • Inn on Biltmore Estate
  • Village Hotel on Biltmore estate
  • Residence Inn Asheville Biltmore
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Asheville- Biltmore
  • Hampton Inn Asheville Biltmore Village

Directions and Transportation for Participants

For reaching the Biltmore Estate, you have the following options:

  • From Interstate 26 West highway, follow I-26 and exit at 31A (Hickory/ Knoxville exit). Then take I-40 east to exit 50 (US Highway 25) and turn left at the traffic signal after exiting. Follow the directions to Biltmore estate.
  • From Interstate 40 West highway, take I-40 west to Asheville and then take exit 50B (US Highway 25 North) and follow the signage to Biltmore estate.
  • From Interstate 40 East highway, take I-40 east to Asheville and then take exit 50 (US Highway 25) and take a left turn at the traffic light. Follow the signage for Biltmore estate.
  • From Interstate 26/ US Highway 19/234 East, take I_26 east to Asheville. Then take I-240 east to I-40 west. Then take the exit 50B (US Highway North) and follow the signs to Biltmore estate.

Transportation within the estate for Asheville marathon and half marathon is by shuttle service. Purchasing a shuttle pass will allow you to travel between the entrance of the estate and the start line of the race. Alternatively, you may take your own ca but remember to reach well ahead of the start time.

Weather and Climate at the Event Venue

Asheville is located in North Carolina between Charlotte and Knoxville and experiences mildly cold weather in March, when the Asheville marathon, Biltmore is organized. The average low temperature here in March is 36 degrees Fahrenheit and the average high temperature is 58 degrees Fahrenheit. There is a possibility of snowfall too.

Vital Information for Spectators

If you are not participating in the event but wish to cheer for the participants, you would have to purchase a spectator ticket. These tickets are available at the venue on the day of the race, and a couple of days prior to the event at select outlets. Interested persons are encouraged to check the details on the official website.

To get the best views of the race, Antler Hill Village area is the best. Separate zones will be provided for spectators to sit and witness this grand event live in action. Managing such a big event would require the assistance of many volunteers. If some of you would like to volunteer for some tasks like manning water stations, distributing medals etc., you should contact the official site.

Conclusion

Being a part of an exclusive racing event like the Asheville marathon, held at Biltmore estate, is surely a great experience for any runner. However, it is recommended that interested runners do a fair bit of research regarding the finer details of this event before registering.

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