This run is CANCELLED indefinitely!

Linville Gorge Madness Marathon

View from Rock Jock Trail

This years version of the epic adventure that is "Linville Gorge Madness" will see a couple major changes (as well as a few minor ones) from the original. The changes are as follows:
1. This years running will be ran counterclockwise
2. Major Reroute: Conley Cove, River (1 section), and Pinch-In trails will be bypassed by using the extraordinarily beautiful Rock Jock Trail.
3. Aid station locations will be at the Conley Cove/Rock Jock trail head and the intersection of the MST and Kistler Memorial Hwy right before the summit of Pinnacle
4. Everyone will hike to the top of Table Rock together and we will start the run, as well as our clocks, from the summit!
5. The bridge at Spence Ridge over the river is gone, fording will be necessary and a recent wildfire on Table Rock and the Chimneys will change up some views for this year.

So what does this all mean? For one, the run will be much more runnable due to two factors. One, the counterclockwise direction, which means all of the Kistler Memorial Hwy sections are mostly downhill. Secondly, the Rock Jock trail is much more runnable than the River Trail. The trail is not easy by any means though as it includes many short ups and downs and a final 700 ft, half a mile climb back up to the road. The Rock Jock trail also increases the amount of exposure due to its profile hugging the cliffs of the west rim. This trail increases the "gorgesness" of this run and will definitely be the highlight of the run! This run is by all means extreme! But it does have a good mix of dirt/gravel road and plenty of good ole single track. The run descends and ascends into the gorge 2.5 times! And the ascents and descents are wicked steep. You might find yourself walking down them as well as up them! Be prepared for somewhere between 9000 - 9500 ft of vertical gain! As far as what your times might be, think of the hardest 50k you have ran and add a bit of time to that. I'm expecting people to finish in a range of 6-10 hours. If anyone can run sub 6:00 you might get a prize!

Start/Finish: Table Rock Picnic Area where there will be a potluck/cookout after the run! Good times are guaranteed! We will begin hiking up to the summit of Tablerock to start around 8:40am to try and start right at 9am.

Aid: There will be aid and the option to have a drop bag at the Conley Cove TH and one at the MST TH near Pinnacle. This will only be possible if we have volunteers to drive the aid/bags out to the trail heads, otherwise you will be on your own. Water is plentiful with a few stream crossings and water dripping off the side of cliffs on the Rock Jock trail. I wouldn't advise getting water out of the river, but if you feel you must, make sure that you treat it.

Cut Off: There will be a hard cut off time at the Pinnacle TH aid station approx. 16 miles into the run. The cut off time will be at 3:00 pm, which would give someone about 4 hours to finish the last 10 miles with 3000ft of gain in the daylight. This is for your safety and also so I don't feel obligated to stay around and wait for you.

Camping option: I would highly recommend coming out to camp on Friday night before the run. There are plenty of spots to set up a tent and there are picnic tables nearby! Depending on your camping spot, you are no farther away than 200 yards from your car.

Directions to start: From Asheville, From Boone, From Charlotte, From Winston-Salem

The Linville Gorge Madness Marathon, like many runs on the WNC Trail Runner Wiki is a mountain run (see elevation profile below) and not intended for beginners. This run will require not only multiple hours on your feet, but experience on how to read a map as the course WILL NOT BE MARKED and there are NO TRAIL BLAZES!!! WNC Trail Runners and their race directors are not responsible for any injuries that may occur while running or traveling to this unofficial free run, but to ensure a safe environment for all our runners and volunteers, new runners will be on provisional entry until they meet the following criteria:

1. Vouched: Any WNC race director, or any Green Belt trail runner sanctioned by the STC (Sultonic Council), can email on your behalf and vouch for you.
2. Run Seven Sisters Summit Run: Run with our group out of Montreat on this amazingly beautiful (and extremely tough) loop on ....... (date to be posted soon).


Alternatively: If you can not meet one of the two requirements above, you may submit an essay to the STC detailing your back country survival skills, mountaineering experience, or mountain running bio!

RSVP and volunteer in discussion section or email me at
This run will be limited to the first 20 people who sign up for sustainability and safety reasons!

great eyrie profile.PNG

-Start going down Tablerock summit trail
-Turn left onto the MST to intersection of Little Tablerock trail
-Take Little Tablerock to intersection of Spence Ridge trail
-Continue downhill on SPR to river, cross bridge
-Turn right on the River trail and stay on until intersection of Babel Tower trail
-Turn left on the Babel Tower trail and start ascending to Kistler Memorial Hwy
-Turn left on Kistler, stay on until Conley Cove trail head on left
-Take CCT to Rock Jock Trail on the right at fork (look for a sign)
-Follow Rock Jock (make sure to take a right at any questionable intersection) to Kistler
-Turn left on Kister, follow to intersection of the MST
-Turn left on MST, over Pinnacle and down to the river
-Cross Linville River and follow the MST (white dot) all the way back to the parking lot (~7 m to lot)