7th Annual Mountain Trail Challenge Returns

The Seventh Annual Mountain Trail Challenge offers running enthusiasts a choice of two courses and two races -- a half-marathon and a 5K.
The Seventh Annual Mountain Trail Challenge offers running enthusiasts a choice of two courses and two races — a half-marathon and a 5K.

The Mountain Trail Challenge half-marathon and 5K race returns to West Virginia’s largest state park on August 13, 2022.

Race, walk, or stroll along beautiful but challenging trails. All ages and levels of athletes are encouraged to participate in this race. Proceeds benefit the park through the Watoga State Park Foundation Inc.

Registration on race day begins on Saturday, August 13, at 6:30 a.m. near the Beaver Creek Campground. Participants are also encouraged to sign up online. Early sign-ups do receive discounts.

The cost of the 5K race registration is $35 until August 7; $40 beginning August 8. Half-Marathon: $55 until August 7; $60 beginning August 8.

The half-marathon begins at 8:30 a.m. and the 5K at 8:40 a.m. Both races will start and end at Watoga’s Beaver Creek Campground. So, it is not too early to explore lodging options here at Watoga State Park or other places to stay or dine.

Mountain Trail Challenge Course Details

Each of the courses weaves throughout the park’s various trail systems. The 13.1-mile half-marathon begins along the road and airstrip to the Allegheny Trail, which passes through the park, then continues along various single-track trails. You’ll climb and descend throughout the course, reaching an elevation of 3,200.

The 3.1 mile 5K race also starts along the grassy airstrip but then turns west into the woods and heads up a ridge through tall pines, hemlock trees, and other hardwoods. Before returning to the grassy airstrip, you’ll make your way through a lovely stretch of rhododendrons along Beaver Creek.

Volunteers will cheer you on along the trails and other unexpected places, staffing first-aid stations and providing needed hydration. An after-race cookout is planned as well.

Participants will be welcomed at the finish line with a post-race celebration that includes awards in each race for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd overall, male and female, plus 1st and 2nd in each age group, male and female.

For more information, please visit the race website.

If you have any questions about the Mountain Trail Challenge races, contact " target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Maureen Conley, Race Chairperson.

MTC Race Details Released

Logistical details for Watoga State Park’s 7th Annual Mountain Trail Challenge Races were released today. The 5K and half-marathon MTC races are slated for Saturday, August 13 at Beaver Creek Campground, according to Maureen Conley, Race Chairperson.

The MTC Races are always the second Saturday in August.
The MTC Races are always the second Saturday in August.

“We’re excited to once again host his one-of-a-kind race,” said Conley. “Each race attracts running enthusiasts who enjoy the shaded canopy provided by Watoga’s wooded mountain trails. Racers often tell us that we’re a unique course and one of a kind in the U.S.”

Conley Announces Additional MTC Race-related Details

When: Online registration check-in and race day registration begins at 7 a.m., August 13. First, the half-marathon starts promptly at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m. Then, the 5k kicks off at 8:40 a.m., ending at 2 p.m. T-shirts commemorating racers’ journey are provided as well as unique prizes and trophies for top finishers.

Where: Watoga State Park, Beaver Creek Campground

What: Two mountain trail races: The 13.1 mile half-marathon includes two hills, one with 640 feet of elevation gain, the other 420 feet. The 3.1 mile 5K has about 325 feet of elevation gain. Both races start and finish at the Beaver Creek Campground.

How: Pre-register online by clicking here.

Cost: 5K: $35 until August 7; $40 beginning August 8. Half-Marathon: $55 until August 7; $60 beginning August 8.

Moreover, food and refreshments will be available for all participants. First-aid stations will have additional nourishments throughout both courses. An after-race cookout is planned as well.

So it is not too early to explore lodging options here at the park or other places to stay or dine.

The 7th Annual Mountain Trail Challenge Races are sponsored by the Watoga State Park Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All race proceeds are used for projects at the park. Your donation may be tax-deductible.

This runner completes the scenic half-marathon course at the MTC races.
This runner completes the scenic half-marathon course at the MTC races.