Lookout to Lookout matches mountain to brewery

Paul Clark

What’s not to love about an intermediate trail and road race in the middle of the glorious Western North Carolina fall?

So thought Mike Guyer, director of Lookout to Lookout to Lookout, a 10-mile race on Saturday, Oct. 15 that starts at Lookout Brewery in Black Mountain, climbs Lookout Mountain in Montreat and heads back to the brewery for a post-race beer (or two).

A combination of roads and trails will challenge runners during the inaugural Lookout to Lookout to Lookout race on Saturday.

In between are gorgeous scenery and a mix of roads, greenways and technical trails, with a couple of aid stations along the way.

“There isn’t any other races like this race in the area,” Guyer, founder of Relentless Running Events, said. One of the reasons is the later start time – a humane 10 a.m. (most races start about 8 a.m. or earlier). Guyer timed the start in part so that runners would finish about noon or 1 p.m. ready to enjoy the brewery, the food truck there and the restaurants and shops in Black Mountain.

The race, presented by Relentless Running Events, will appeal to road and trail runners alike and has attracted more than 100 people from 14 states, including someone from Washington. “I think that person has other business here,” Guyer said, “but I like to think that it attracts people from the other side of the country.”

Guyer, who with his event company stages races and who by day manages a chain of auto repair shops, hopes the race will become an annual event, filling a quiet time in an otherwise busy local race registry. He’s counting on the fall scenery to attract many runners from out of state. Local runners who already run the Lookout Mountain trail will like being familiar with the course layout, he said. Runners from Asheville will run it to help expand their repertoire of available trails.

Guyer put the race together after talking one day with local runners about their favorite trails. Many knew about Montreat’s Lookout Mountain, and many of them run with The Posse, a group of runners that heads out Wednesday afternoons from Vertical Runner in downtown Black Mountain. Many in that group frequently wind up at Lookout Brewery, which supports the running group. Guyer, who runs about 50 miles a week, came up with the race by putting together two of the group’s favorite things – the brewery and the mountain trail.

The race will start and finish in the brewery’s parking lot. But not all the fun will be had there.

“Lookout (Mountain) is steep and rocky, and I would say the climb is the most difficult part of the race,” Guyer said. “But the view at the top is definitely worth it.”

Lace them up!

Sign up at Or show up at the brewery on race day.