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courtesy of Gary Herman, Alexander County Public Information Officer

10th Annual Vertical Mile Challenge Trail Race Attracts Runners to Rocky Face Park in Alexander County

The 10th Annual Vertical Mile Challenge Trail Race attracted runners from across North Carolina and beyond on Saturday, June 22, 2024, at Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area. There were 82 runners who completed the full VMC (8 laps, 16 miles) and 63 runners who completed the half VMC (4 laps, 8 miles).

Ethan Carrigan, age 25 of Taylorsville, captured the top spot in the VMC with a time of 2:54:34. Lisa Roberts, age 45 of Charlotte, was the top female with a time of 2:58:16, breaking the previous female record of 2:58:58 while also claiming the female fastest first lap award. Brian Beal earned the male fastest first lap award (17:18). Carrigan took the Alexander County fastest first lap award, while Shawn Pennell earned the Overall Alexander County Male award (3:46:27). Full results are available at

In the Half VMC, Matt Kearney, age 39 of Mount Olive, earned top honors with a time of 1:20:51. Elizabeth Hart, age 33 of Harmony, was the top female at 1:45:57. Justin Kerley, age 31, was the top Alexander County male (1:36:55), while Ashley Braundel, age 26, was the top Alexander County female (3:17:44). Full results are available at

North Carolina runners hailed from the following municipalities: Aberdeen, Bellews Creek, Boone, Cameron, Cary, Charlotte, Clemmons, Concord, Conover, Cornelius, Dallas, Davidson, Denver, Dudley, Durham, Elkin, Fayetteville, Fort Campbell, Gastonia, Granite Falls, Greensboro, Harmony, Hickory, Hiddenite, High Point, Hudson, Huntersville, Jamestown, King, Leland, Lewisville, Lexington, Lincolnton, Locust, Mount Olive, Marion, McLeansville, Mooresboro, Mooresville, Moravian Falls, Morganton, Morrisville, Mount Airy, Newland, Newton, North Wilkesboro, Pinehurst, Raeford, Raleigh, Reidsville, Rockingham, Salisbury, Sanford, Southern Pines, Stanley, Statesville, Stony Point, Summerfield, Taylorsville Traphill, Troutman, Union Mills, Valdese, Wake Forest, Weddington, Winston-Salem, Yadkinville, and Youngsville. Other states included Georgia, Hawaii, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

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