Relentless rain, rising water force Black Mountain Monster to end early

Fred McCormick
Black Mountain News
Unrelenting rain forced organizers of the Black Mountain Monster, 6-, 12- and 24-hour Ultramarathon to end the race early this year. The trail race, which began at 10 a.m. on June 8, was called off at 3 a.m. on June 9, when runners were asked to complete their laps and load their gear before exiting the property.

A few hours into the Black Mountain Monster 6-, 12- and 24-hour Ultramarathon, which started at 10 a.m. on June 8, on the trails in the In-the-Oaks Estate, it started to rain. 

When the 6-hour runners crossed the finish line at 4 p.m., the rain continued to fall. By 10 p.m., as the 12-hour runners completed their race, it was still coming down. Around 3 a.m., organizers cited safety when they pulled the plug on the final seven hours of the 24-hour race. 

More than 250 runners were undeterred by mud and rain as they hit the trails that wind through the In-the-Oaks Estate on June 8, when the Black Mountain Monster 6-, 12- and 24-hour Ultramarathon returned. The 6- and 12-hour races were completed under heavy rain, but organizers stopped the event at 3 a.m. on June 9, citing safety concerns.

"Due to rising water and continuous heavy rain, we are ending the (race) early," Relentless Running Events announced on Facebook. "We are urging runners to finish their laps, which will be counted, and leave the race area."

Volunteers and staff assisted runners and their crews with collecting and loading their gear. 

Black Mountain Monster runners faced wet, muddy conditions as they navigated the course on June 8. The 24-hour race was stopped seven hours short of its conclusion by organizers, who cited safety concerns.

"Our top concern is safety," Relentless Running's post stated. "Dangerous flooding is a real possibility."

The race, which began in 2008, featured a record 250 runners this year. Participants follow a 3.1-mile course for 6, 12 or 24 hours. Laps are completed in the middle of a tent city, which is set up on the property in a field behind the manor house. 

The area is prone to flooding under heavy rain, which forced the event the be postponed in 2018. 

Despite challenging course conditions, around 250 runners participated in the Black Mountain Monster 6-, 12- and 24-hour Ultramarathon on June 8. Organizers stopped the 24-hour race, which was scheduled to finish at 10 a.m. on June 9, seven hours early, citing safety concerns.