Saturday, Mar 25, 2023

Mount Mitchell Heartbreaker

985 Camp Grier Rd

Old Fort, NC 50 Miler, 55 Kilometer

This Event Took Place Sat. Mar 25, 2023


The Mount Mitchell Heartbreaker 50M/55K is an extremely scenic tour of "the other Pisgah" in the shadow of Mount Mitchell. Starting at the foot of the mountains in Old Fort, NC at Camp Grier, the race takes runners up and down some of the most stunning, quad-busting, and heart-pounding trails in all of Western North Carolina, eventually taking the 50 milers over three 6,000 ft+ peaks including Mount Mitchell itself, making this the highest 50 miler east of the Mississippi! Highlights of the course include Snooks Nose, Green Knob, Black Mountain Crest, and Heartbreak Ridge Trails.

Course Description

Each course has a bit of everything, from technical singletrack, grassy double track, gravel, and a short bit of pavement. The 50 miler has three major climbs and descents up Snooks Nose/ down Green Knob, up Mt Mitchell and the Crest Trail/ down Buncombe Horse, and up Bald Knob Ridge/ down Heartbreak Ridge. The 50k has two major climbs/descents, the first and last as described in the 50 miler. The 50k does not include the climb up Mt Mitchell. Although the course has a lot of climbing, there are plenty of sections to make up time with long gentle downhills and a good mix or gravel road sections.

Each course will have a combo of full and fluid only aid stations located approximately every 4-7 miles along the course. Aid stations will have at a minimum: Water and Gatorade. Minimum foods include: bananas, orange slices, potato chips, pretzels, PB&J, and M&Ms.

The Numbers

50M - 5:30 AM
55K - 7:00 AM
Distance: ~ 50 M/ 55K
Elevation Gain:
50M ~ 12,000 ft
55k ~ 7,500 ft
Time Limit:
50M - 16.5 hours
55K - 12 hours

Need to Know

Weather conditions can change drastically on the mountain. If race needs to be canceled due to extreme weather, the race will try to be rescheduled or run virtually. No refunds will be given if you cannot attend the rescheduled date or if rescheduling is not an option.
In the event the parkway is closed, but the course is in otherwise good condition, an alternate course will be used for both distances that does not cross the parkway. The alternate courses are also stunning.
You must carry required gear at all times. This includes a rain shell, at least 30oz total of water carrying, a whistle, cell phone, and an emergency blanket. All 50 milers are required to carry a headlamp at the start and upon leaving S Toe River Aid station.
There are multiple lodging options at Camp Grier from private cabins, dorm style cabins, and camping. You can book lodging during registration through ultrasignup.
We are currently working on securing live tracking for the event. This will require carrying a small gps device or running an app on your cell phone. More details coming soon.


Our stunning host location, Camp Grier, is absolutely perfect to host an event like this with multiple lodging types right at the start of the race. With the early start, being able to wake up and just step out the door or tent to the start is ideal. Camp Grier offers the following lodging options:

- 2 private cabins that can sleep 6 and 12 each
- 3 bunkhouses with common bath and living space, with rooms with 1-5 bunk beds
- 8 rustic cabins (electricity, but no running water) with 5 bunk beds each
- Hostile-style reserve a bed in one of the bunkhouses
- Tent camping

You can reserve your desired stay and housing during checkout while signing up or by visiting the store button above on this page at a later date.

Waitlist FAQ

- How do I know my order on the waitlist? Click on the waitlist button above on this page to view where you stand currently on the waitlist.
- What are my chances of getting off the waitlist? If you are in the top 15 of the waitlist, your chances of getting in by race day are very high, but not a full qaurantee. You should go ahead and be training as if you are in the event. If you are lower than 15 down the waitlist, your chances diminish the further you are down the list. Historically, we've never exceeded inviting any more than 25 people off a waitlist and that is very high, but know that not everyone accepts a registration invite and many decline. So you could be number 35 on the waitlist, but still get in by race day.
- When will I know that I got off the waitlist? An email will be sent to invite you to signup for the race off the waitlist after a spot opens up. You will have one week to confirm your entry before the invite will be removed
- How soon should I expect an invite? Most likely you will not receive an invite until the final few weeks before the event up to two days before the event.

Our Mission

Our mission for putting on this race is three fold. First, we want to show off this jewel of Pisgah in Western North Carolina and how great the trails are in the Grandfather District. Secondly, we want to support the G5 Trail Collective in their mission to further enhance volunteerism and trail expansion in the Old Fort area. Through the help of G5 the Old Fort area is blossoming into a wanderlust destination for all outdoor minded people to explore not on the historical trails of the area but the new trails being added each year. Lastly, we want to provide the best race experience for you that we can. We've designed a top notch, beautiful course that is challenging and great for preparing for late spring and early summer 100's and provides excellent aid station support throughout the run, so you can keep your mind on the trail and the majestic views around you, not your water bottle.

Refund Policy

If for some reason you need to cancel your registration, you have up to 45 days before the event to cancel and receive a partial refund. If canceling before January 1st you will receive a 75% refund. If you cancel after January 1st up until 45 days prior to the event, you will receive a 50% refund. If you cancel within 45 days of the event, no refund will be given regardless of the circumstance leading you to cancel. The race maintains a waitlist to fill any open spots, so bibs cannot be transferred. If you need to cancel within the 45-day window due to injury and still want to be a part of the event, we'd love to have you as a volunteer. Volunteering for 10+ hours earns you free entry into any event we host regardless of distance. Volunteering 6-10 hours earns volunteers free entry into any of our events 55k or under or 50% off any event over 55k. Volunteering for 3-5 hours earns you a 50% discount on any of our events 55k or under and a 25% discount on any event over 55k. You can sign up to volunteer by clicking the volunteer button on the registration page.

If the race needs to be canceled for any reason (unforeseen acts of nature or COVID), the race will be run virtually "Tanawha style" (aka on the actual course, not anywhere). Please plan your calendar accordingly. No refunds, transfers, or deferrals will be given in the case of race moving to virtual.

Event's current local time: 7:10 PM ET


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