Goodbye to the searing temps and oppressive humidity of summer: Let’s get reacquainted with our inner adventurer this fall, just in time for some of Gaston County’s best outdoor events of the year. Whether your motivation is to try a new sport, drop a few pounds, or support one of many local causes, a cornucopia of runs, races, and opportunities to test your mettle await in Gaston.
WC-50 Ultra Trail Marathon: Held at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, this 50-mile and 50K race is your chance to conquer more than 25 miles of Whitewater Center trails in one event. A 50K option offers a mix of rolling lakeside trails and steep singletrack, while the 50-mile option tests endurance with significant elevation change and technical difficulty.
7th Annual Stanley Creek Massacre 5K & 10K: Gaston County Parks & Recreation hosts this ghoulish event, named more for the hilly and challenging terrain than the fright factor.
Belmont Rotary 4-2-1 Costume Dash: You can win a medal for running prowess, best costume, and even best tutu at this Halloween road race to benefit local charities Holy Angels and Rotary International. Four-mile, two-mile, and one-mile courses are open to runners and walkers.
Spencer Mountain 5K & 10 Miler: Part of the Gaston County Family YMCA’s Gaston Cup Race Series, the 5K is a rolling out-and-back road run while the 10-miler skirts Spencer Mountain for some more significant elevation change. Proceeds go to the YMCA LIVESTRONG program for adult cancer survivors.
A Shot in the Dark: Outrun that chill in the air with an evening run on Whitewater Center trails. Headlamps are NOT optional for these sunset 5K and 10K races with post-race s’mores, cocoa, and craft beer by the bonfire.
Christmastown 5K: Runners get a sneak preview of McAdenville’s holiday light display with thousands of colored lights turned on just for the race. The race, costume contest and post-race party are one of the most popular of the season, so register early! Proceeds benefit the local YMCA and McAdenville Women’s Club.
Girls on the Run 5K: Wind through downtown Belmont on this family run and walk celebrating the culmination of the 10-week Girls on the Run training program. Festivities begin and end in scenic Stowe Park with proceeds going to families needing financial assistance to participate in Girls on the Run.
We Believe—Santa 5K Trail Run: U.S. National Whitewater Center Celebrate the season with a brisk trail run and prizes for best Santa Claus look-alikes.
Fall Cyclofest: You can demo top-brand bikes on the U.S. National Whitewater Center trails during this two-day festival celebrating everything cycling. After the ride, enjoy live music, craft beer, and great food alongside your fellow cycling enthusiasts.
Ride & Seek: For this event, teams of two take to the rolling trails in this mountain bike adventure race. Navigate checkpoints and challenges along the way as you ride 25+ miles of trail to the finish. There is no set course here, as teams must complete as many checkpoints as quickly as possible.
Gaston Y Indoor Tri: The Gaston County Y wants you to triple your confidence with this timed indoor triathlon for ages 9 to adult. Segments include a 10-minute pool swim, 20-minute indoor cycle, and a 15-minute treadmill run.
Dynomite Bouldering: There’s something for all skill levels at this all-day climbing competition at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Register in the citizen’s bouldering category or the USA climbing-sanctioned competition.
Turkey Chute: Slalom kayakers navigate the gates of the competition channel in a no-holds-barred raceto the lower pond at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Day one is reserved for qualifying races, while day two racers go head-to-head to determine the winner.
Originally written for Gaston County Gov.