A 2024 Runners Race Guide for Asheville, NC

Runners starting at the starting line at the River Arts District Marathon and 10K

Asheville is a runner’s paradise. From urban jogging downtown to the endless forest trails that encompass the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville has something to offer runners of any level.

Even better, the city offers a plethora of exciting races to test yourself and local running groups that meet often to train and are always excited to add new members.

So, before you lace up your shoes and head out the door, check out the upcoming races for 2024 in Asheville, the best places to run in and around town and the groups you can train with to help you hit that next PR.

2024 Upcoming Races

Asheville Catholic School Shamrock 5K/10K – March 16, 2024

Asheville Marathon and Half – March 16, 2024

MORE: If the marathon distance is a bucket list goal of yours, consider running the one in Asheville. It’s a fast course where a PR is not unheard of and a USATF Certified Boston Qualifier Course for those looking to get into one of the most, if not the most, prestigious events in the U.S. and its early spring date means you’ll be running in ideal temps.

Get Your Rear in Gear – March 23, 2024

Ville to Ville – April 13, 2024

Earth Day 5K – April 20, 2024

Friends of the WNC Nature Center 5K - April 21, 2024

Woodfin 5K – April 27, 2004

Chamber Challenge 5K – May 3, 2024

Girls on the Run 5K – May 5

Biltmore-Kiwanis 15K/5K Classic – May 19, 2024

Beer City 20K Relay and 5K - May 25, 2024

Flying Squirrel Ten Miler – June 1, 2024

RAD Half Marathon – June 9, 2024

MORE: One of the newest races in the Asheville running community is the RAD Half Marathon and 10K. The inaugural race took place in June 2022 and looks to be a fan favorite for years to come due to its downtown start, scenic course with lots of downhill and flat sections, and post-run party (yep, there’s live music) at the finish line near 12 Bones Smokehouse in the River Arts District. Participants each receive a medal, a free beer, and a tech t-shirt, as well as a premium racing experience from iDaph Events + Timing.

Highland Brewing Night Flight - June 29, 2024

MORE: For the past several years the Highland Brewing Night Flight race has been produced with 100% of the proceeds going towards the building and support of greenways in the Asheville area. So far roughly $40,000 has been raised. The course takes place on the Asheville Municipal Golf Course, in the Beverly Hills neighborhood, past the WNC Nature Center, and ends at Highland Brewing. The start time is 7:30 p.m. so runners are advised to wear reflective gear!

Asheville Independence Day 5K – July 4, 2024

Asheville Triathlon - July 21, 2024

Art Dash 5K – July 27, 2024

MORE: The amazing team at Kick It Events produces the Art Dash 5K and it’s a fundraiser for LEAF Global Arts. Race Director Leslie Grotenhuis says, “The Art Dash 5K combines the athletic spirit of Western North Carolina along with its artistic side. The course is lined with performing artists that entertain you during your run.” Previous years have featured everyone from jugglers to breakdancers to circus artists along the route. If you want to experience a one-of-a-kind race, this is it.

Biltmore Forest 10K - Aug 17, 2024

Asheville Half Marathon - Aug. 24, 2024

Blue Ridge Relay – Sept. 6, 2024

Oktoberfest Half Marathon & 5K – Sept 28, 2024

Thomas Wolfe 8K – Oct. 20, 2024

MORE: This is Asheville's oldest running event dating back to 1976. The race begins at the Thomas Wolfe Memorial House in the center of downtown Asheville and runs through the historic Montford neighborhood and continues past Wolfe's final resting place at Riverside Cemetery.

Wicked Spooky 5K – Oct. 26, 2024

Onesie One Miler – Nov. 23, 2024

South Asheville Turkey Trot – Nov. 28, 2024

Ugly Sweater Run – Dec. 7, 2024

New Year’s Resolution Run – Jan. 1, 2025

Couple trail running in Bent Creek Experimental Forest

Where to Run

One of Asheville's favorite running trails is located in Bent Creek Experimental Forest within Pisgah National Forest. Hikers and mountain bikers have been recreating in Bent Creek for a long time but it’s also beloved by the trail running community. Your options range from twisty, technical singletrack trails to wide gravel fire roads that roll for miles and miles.

From downtown Asheville, it’s only a 20-minute drive to reach the Hard Times Trailhead parking lot and from there runners have lots of options including the 6-mile Hard Times Trail Loop for which the lot is named, as well as the fairly flat Bent Creek Gap Trail that takes you into the North Carolina Arboretum.

If you're looking for more of an urban jaunt, head over to the River Arts District for a run on the Wilma Dykeman Greenway which parallels the French Broad River. There’s free street parking along Riverside Drive, a free parking lot near the Craven Street Bridge and a larger, also free, parking lot with a public restroom along River Arts Place. Runners can start from any number of places and enjoy the flat and paved 3.5-mile path that now loops around to New Belgium Brewing. After your run, there are plenty of local spots for a post-run beverage like Summit CoffeeHi-Wire Brewing, and Wedge Brewing Co. among many others. White Duck Taco, Baby Bull or Guajiro Cuban Food Truck are also great post-run lunch spots.

Montreat, a small mountain community that sits at the base of Greybeard Mountain just 30 minutes east of Asheville, is a trail runner's paradise. The Montreat Wilderness, part of the Montreat Conference Center, offers a trail network of 21 trails of varying distances that cover over 40 miles, which should be plenty of distance for even the most enthusiastic runner among us.

Asheville Run Clubs

  • Jus' Running, a local business has been serving the Asheville running community since 1998, offers a strength and speed interval training on Tuesday nights at UNC Asheville and a weekly social run on Wednesday's at Archetype Brewing in West Asheville.
  • Fleet Feet Asheville offers free Tuesday evening fun runs around Biltmore Park, plus opportunities to register for personalized training groups throughout the year.
  • Highland Brewing Run Club meets every Wednesday night around 5:30 p.m. with optional runs up to 6 miles. Regardless of the distance you choose, there's always a tasty beer waiting for you after. 
  • Head on down to the Wedge Brewing Co.’s Foundation Location in the River Arts District and meet up with the Asheville Running Collective at 6:15 p.m. This run is open to anyone though it has a reputation for being a fast workout. Still, anyone can come and run at their own pace. It’s the same route every time, a 7.5-mile out and back run, that can be shortened at any point.
  • Lookout Brewing Running Club hosts a Sunday fun run at 12 p.m. and includes 2, 4, and 6 mile options.
Updated March 28, 2024