USTA helps make improvements to Asheville tennis center

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) — A tennis center in the mountains was revamped thanks to the U.S. Tennis Association.

Aston Park Tennis Center received $35,000 in enhancements thanks to the 2018 USTA Fed Cup Legacy gift. Asheville hosted the Fed Cup two years in a row. And since that event, Asheville residents have gotten a bit of tennis fever.

"Tennis is alive and well in Asheville. And I will say that the Fed Cup, which came two years ago in 2018, really capitalized tennis here in Asheville in a way that we hadn't seen before. It's just been great for the city," Asheville City Council member Julie Mayfield said.

With some of the money, the center was able to add ADA accessible seating, new shade structures and more.

Triathlon Gold Proud to Call UNC Asheville Home

About halfway through 2018, Olympic Triathlon Coach Jarrod Evans and his group Triathlon Gold starting looking for a new home base for their top-level program.

In looking to relocate from San Diego, Evans and Triathlon Gold visited 16 different cities over the course of their search for a new home.

Asheville was the last place that they visited, but it was quickly apparent upon their arrival that they had found their new home with UNC Asheville.

"I had a meeting with (Director of Athletics) Janet R. Cone and she was very open to the idea of supporting a USA Triathlon elite program and combining with UNC Asheville's athletic facilities," Evans said. "The reasons we chose Asheville are many and varied, but probably the top of the list is that we wanted to find a place that the athletes could live year-round that also had world-class facilities and a good sense of community."

As part of the collaboration, Triathlon Gold has access to UNC Asheville's Justice Center Pool, the Karl Straus Track, the Asheville Jewish Community Center pool (home of diving for UNC Asheville swimming & diving) and much more. Triathlon Gold also spends a great deal of time preparing in and around Biltmore Lake.

The collaboration also works fluidly thanks to the efforts of UNC Asheville Campus Recreation and the Asheville Buncombe Regional Sports Commission.

Triathlon Gold's decision to work with Bulldog athletics in this capacity was made even more appealing given the on-campus expertise of the UNC Asheville Department of Health and Wellness as well as the North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness, in addition to the University's truly unique partnership with Mission Health which is based on five pillars: sports medicine, scholarships and internships, healthy campus, career and professional development and sponsorship.

Cone is thrilled that Triathlon Gold decided to call Asheville home.

"This is great partnership that allows our student-athletes and coaches to be surrounded even more by elite athletes training at the highest level," Cone said. "I could not be happier that Jarrod and his team decided to train at UNC Asheville. Like our Bulldog coaches and staff, Jarrod is working hard daily to build Champions in Athletics and Leaders in Life."

Evans in his over 20 years of international coaching has produced more than 25 World Triathlon Champions and over 40 National Triathlon Champions. He has also prepared over 250 IRONMAN World Championship athletes and multiple International Triathlon Union champions.

Triathlon Gold operates within with the USA Triathlon National Team Program. The program is currently open to elite triathletes from the United States and International professional triathletes.

Evans' current grouping of athletes includes Mary Alex England and Sophie Chase, who will represent the U.S. at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. The 2019 Pan American Games run from Friday, July 26-Sunday, Aug. 11.

"We have athletes who are competing in the Pan Am Games coming up, but with the Olympics next year (Tokyo, Japan), the Olympic trials is the next main qualification focus of our athletes," Evans said. "It's a good mix of athletes and we have some internationals in our group as well, but it's predominantly a US Elite team."

Triathlon Gold officially started shifting things to Asheville in April of 2019 and it's been easy for Evans to see over the last few months that moving things to the Western North Carolina area was the right choice.

"Absolutely," Evans said. "We obviously have moved here in a great time of year coming around the summer, and we could not be happier. The training facilities are first class, the natural resources are amazing and the community is great. People have been hugely welcoming of our program, whether it be utilizing a pool, a track or a gym. We're very happy with our decision."

To learn more about Evans and Triathlon Gold, please visit triathlongold.com. You can learn more about UNC Asheville athletics by visiting uncabulldogs.com.

Skyview Pro & Amateur Tournament Celebrates It's 60th Year

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) — For six decades, the Skyview Golf Association has conducted Buncombe County’s largest stroke-play golf tournament.

And as the Skyview Pro & Amateur Tournament celebrates its 60th straight year of hosting players for competition, it will represent much more than golfers teeing it up for three days.

The event at Asheville Golf Course on July 9-11 is also an important community event that embraces diversity among its playing field and a large, extended golfing family.

“We’re very proud that we have been able to put on this tournament for so long. It has always been an important sporting and social event for our community,” said Skyview tournament director Lee Shepard.

In its heyday, the tournament drew fields of more than 200 players and featured winners like Lee Elder, who won the event a record four straight years (1962-65) and went on to become the first African-American golfer to compete in The Masters.

Local winners also include a list of the top players in WNC over the years, like Richard Clark and Harry Jeter.

The Skyview tourney was created in 1960 and was initially designed as an African-American only event at what was then named the Asheville Municipal GC (Muni), one of the few 18-hole layouts that allowed blacks access to the game.

But it took just one year for organizers to realize that excluding a race of golfers was the very obstacle they were trying to overcome, and every since the tournament has enjoyed the fact that all players - male, female and juniors - are welcome.

“You see blacks and whites playing together, just like you want and just like you see every day at the Muni,” said Billy Gardenhight, who helped create the tournament and served as its director for more than 40 years.

“At the Skyview, it’s just about the golf and the friends and reconnecting with people you only see maybe once a year.”

Last year’s event was one of the most exciting ever, a classic duel in the pro division between youth and experience.

Greg Parker, head golf pro at Marion Lake Club, finished at 20-under par to win his record seventh Skyview title at age 52.

Parker had 23 birdies in three days to hold off Noah Ratner of Asheville, the winner in 2015 and ‘16 who had 22 birdies over 54 holes and finished two shots back of Parker.

Playing out of the same cart in the second and third rounds, Parker and Ratner combined for 34 birdies over 36 holes.

Henderson County's Austin Fisher is the defending champion in the amateur division, and Tommy White of Asheville will defend his crown as the senior amateur winner.

The event is 54 holes of stroke play on the popular 18-hole Donald Ross layout at AGC that hosts more than 40,000 rounds annually.

Even with record rainfall over the past 18 months, the par-72 renowned for its two distinct nines - a flat, wide-open front side that gives way to a short, tight nine holes that demands accuracy and features tree-lined fairways on every hole - is in good playing shape.

The Skyview is unique in that there are four divisions - pro, senior pro, amateur and senior amateur.

The pros and senior pros will play for a purse that totals $17,900.

Amateurs and senior amateurs will be flighted and will play for prizes that include woods, irons and golf bags.

The amateurs tee off at 8 a.m. each morning and pros begin play at 2 p.m.

Entry fees are $185 for amateurs and $350 for pros, with the field limited to the first 60 pros and 90 amateurs who have paid entries.

The Skyiew Golf Association is a 501 -c- (4) non-profit that provides scholarships and donates to elderly and youth services.

For more information or to enter the tournament, call Shepard (335-6377), Gardenheight (231-0860), Ivory Walker (774-5534) or Fred Woods (423-8485).

Sponsorships are also available, including tee signs.

- by Keith Jarrett

Gran Fondo National Championship Awarded to Asheville for 2019 and 2020

(Asheville, NC - May 29, 2019) - Gran Fondo National Series (GFNS) announced today that the annual Gran Fondo Asheville cycling event has been selected as the site for the Gran Fondo National Championship event for 2019 and 2020. Working with the Buncombe County Regional Sports Commission and supporting Asheville on Bikes and Eblen Charities, this national level amateur cycling event will bring more than 500 amateur cyclists, plus their families and supporters, to the city of Asheville on the weekend of July 21, 2019.

 A gran fondo is a unique type of cycling event that features timed segment racing. Riders of all ages and abilities start together, and overall and age-group winners are determined by the fastest combined times through designated timing sections. The Gran Fondo National Series is the largest and most competitive series of gran fondo events in the United States, with 10 events nationwide and 3,000 annual participants. 

“We are proud to award the Gran Fondo National Championship to the city of Asheville for the next two years,” said GFNS founder and event director, Reuben Kline. “The city and sporting commission have been tremendously supportive of Gran Fondo Asheville over the past six years, riders love the roads and mountains in this area, and the community is vibrant and welcoming.”

The decision to move the GFNS National Championship event to Asheville comes on the heels of a successful Haute Route Asheville event, of which Kline was also Event Director. Haute Route (pronounced “oat root”) is an international cycling event company that owns GFNS and produces multi-day cycling competitions around the world, including in France, Italy, Norway, Oman, Mexico, and China. Haute Route Asheville brought an international field of around 300 amateur cyclists to Asheville May 17-19 for a 3-day competition.

“The Asheville Buncombe Regional Sports Commission is excited to elevate our partnership with the Gran Fondo National Series by bringing The GFNS National Championship to Asheville,” said Demp Bradford, President of the Asheville Buncombe Regional Sports Commission. “Hosting top caliber cycling events like Haute Route Asheville and GFNS National Championship bring great exposure to what is already a thriving area for cycling. Cyclists and their families bring significant economic benefit to our city and county and the timed-segment format minimalizes the interruptions to our local residents and visitors.”

Former U.S. Representative and NFL quarterback Heath Shuler encouraged the move, citing the organizers’ commitment to the region and the economic benefits of cycling for Asheville. “Cycling is good for Asheville and Buncombe County,” said Heath. “More than a dozen cycling-related companies have offices or manufacturing facilities here, in part because of the same roads, trails, and community that attracts high-level national and international cycling competitions.” 

Proceeds from Gran Fondo Asheville support Asheville on Bikes, a local non-profit that advocates for better cycling and pedestrian infrastructure; and Eblen Charities, which supports families in the Asheville area with food, housing, medical heating and utilities, medication, and all manner of emergency assistance.

 Gran Fondo Asheville starts at 8:00am at Wicked Weed Brewery at (147 Coxe Avenue in Asheville) on Sunday, July 21. Riders can choose to ride 100, 60, or 30 miles, and all three routes return to the brewery for a finish line festival. Only the 100-mile riders compete for the National Championship. 

 About Gran Fondo National Series

Founded in 2013 by event director Reuben Kline, the 10-event Gran Fondo National Series is the largest and most competitive series of gran fondo cycling events in the United States, and the only event series to crown a Gran Fondo National Champion. Acquired in 2017 by the parent company of Haute Route, GFNS events are part of OC Sports’ international portfolio of cycling, running, ultrarunning, and sailing events. Visit https://granfondonationalseries.com.

LGBTQ-focused Stonewall Sports expands to Asheville

Stonewall Sports, an LGBTQ and Ally community-based nonprofit sports organization, on Wednesday afternoon announced Asheville as the latest city to join the league. The sports group was founded in Washington, D.C., in 2010 to raise funds for local nonprofits through inclusive, low-cost organized sports. Since then, it has expanded into seventeen cities including Asheville, five in North Carolina alone. The Asheville interim leadership team will host a free community meet and greet at Banks Ave. Bar (32 Banks Avenue in downtown Asheville) on Wednesday, May 22 from 6:00-9:00 p.m. to learn about the league, meet people, and play bar games.

“As someone who has played soccer most of my life, I believe everyone should be able to feel comfortable being themselves in organized sports,” said Karla Furnari, City Commissioner of Stonewall Sports Asheville. “This is a recreational league for all types of athletes, so we hope to quickly build a network of teammates, volunteers, sponsors, and friends. Stonewall Sports is truly driven by the community, so we want to listen to as many voices as possible as the league takes shape before our first sport rolls out in the summer.”

Stonewall Sports Asheville plans to start with a kickball league for the simplicity, nostalgia, and socialization that make it a challenging team sport and provide a fun social experience. To keep the experience affordable and accessible, registration fees will be in the $25-$35 range – substantially lower than other sports clubs in the area. Other expenses will be offset by community sponsorship, also designed for a range of budgets to ensure participation from small businesses and larger corporations alike. Other cities have also added bowling, corn hole, flag football, and volleyball leagues, among other sports.

The Asheville area has been noted by national organizations for its friendly and inclusive nature and is home to one of the most dynamic and visible LGBTQAI+ communities in the South. Stonewall Sports Asheville organizers note that while the city is not lacking in welcoming arts and cultural options, there is a void when it comes to ongoing recreational activities for the LGBTQ community and allies to gather around while interacting socially.

The philanthropic focus of the league is just as important as wellness and social components, notes Furnari. “We’ve chosen Blue Ridge Pride as our local charitable partner because of the years of trust the organization has established in the region. The organization’s vision of an inclusive community where people are embraced for who they are and feel welcomed to engage and contribute aligns very closely with Stonewall Sports Asheville’s vision.”

MountainXpress - Press Release from Stonewall Sports

Prestigious Haute Route bike race returns to Asheville with riders from around the world

ASHEVILLE — The Western North Carolina version of the Tour de France — albeit a mini tour — will speed across the mountains May 17-19.

The Haute Route, a three-day stage race, which offers the world’s most prestigious multiday events for amateur cyclists, is returning to WNC after its Asheville debut last year, with some 300 cyclists from around the world, a 50 percent increase in participation from 2018.

The course features some of the sweetest cycling routes, starting and ending downtown at Pack Square on May 17 and 18, traversing the sinister twists and steepness of Town Mountain Road, the scenic grounds of the Biltmore Estate, Elk Mountain Scenic Highway and even a stint on the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

Even though last year’s race was plagued by heavy rains, the Asheville Buncombe Regional Sports Commission reported that the 2018 Haute Route Asheville generated nearly $1 million in local economic impact, including more than 1,100 room nights in local hotels and more than $64,000 in tax revenue.

Sports Commission president Demp Bradford said it’s not just the dollars, but the international exposure that’s good for Asheville, cementing the region as a tour de force as a cycling destination.

“Even with the extreme rains, I think the event was successful because everyone had a good time, the comments were good, and everyone was able to complete it safely,” Bradford said.

"One of the flattering things is some of the Europeans compared Asheville and the terrain favorably to the European rides they were used to,” he said.

The Haute Route began in the mountains of Switzerland and France using the Pyrenees, Alps, Dolomites and infamous climbs like the Alp’ d’Huez for race courses.

There are now Haute Route events in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America, and only two in the United States — Asheville and San Francisco.

So far, there are riders signed up from 32 states and six foreign countries: Great Britain, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Switzerland.

The first day will circumnavigate Mount Mitchell with nearly 11,000 feet of elevation gain over a 103-mile course. It will include Elk Mountain Scenic Highway and travel the parkway from N.C. 80 to Town Mountain Road. A shorter, “compact” Day 1 will have 55 miles of riding with 6,034 feet of elevation change.

Day 2 climbs nearly 9,000 feet over 97.5 miles, winding through the gardens of the Biltmore Estate before heading west toward Canton, through Haywood and Madison counties, returning along the French Broad River. The compact course is 57 miles with 3,616 feet of climbing.

Day 3, a Sunday, is a 5.6-mile time trial up Town Mountain Road, with a gain of 1,209 feet and an expected crowd of spectators yelling and clanging cowbells.

The winners, including women, who typically comprise 10-20% of the race field, will have posted the best times over all three days and segments.

Last year’s male winner was Corey Davis, of Greenville, South Carolina, who also won last year’s 100-mile Assault on Mount Mitchell, which is May 20 this year. The female winner was Danielle Baker of Durham.

“Asheville has a storied cycling history, including hosting major cycling races, being home to several champions, and developing into a renowned training hub for road cyclists and mountain bikers,” said Jim Rutberg of Haute Route North America.

“Asheville is a vibrant and welcoming city … the breweries, restaurants, galleries, and nearby attractions give athletes and their families a lot of options during their three-day stay.”

Learn more

The Haute Route Asheville is May 17-19. No roads will be closed to vehicles during the races. For more on the Haute Route, visit www.hauteroute.org.

by Karen Chávez, Asheville Citizen Times

'We owe him a debt of gratitude': Roberson community honors life of Riley Howell

WLOS - SKYLAND - The voice of Rob Wilcher broke as he spoke over the PA before the start of T.C. Roberson's final regular season soccer game against rival Reynolds. 

"The Roberson community has been touched by tragedy today," he said. "Riley Howell lost his life, saving others."

It had been less than 24 hours since Howell died in a April 30 campus shooting at UNC Charlotte, attempting to disarm the gunman — and in the process, saving lives. 
Wilcher, like many others in the stands, was still coming to terms with the reality of the news.

Howell and 19-year-old Ellis Parlier of Midland were killed when a shooter opened fire in a classroom building at the UNCC campus. Four others were injured, three of whom were critically wounded.

Campus police disarmed and apprehended the suspect, later identified by police as 22-year-old Trystan Andrew Terrell, a former student, in the room where a handgun was used to carry out the shooting.

"He will be missed and remembered as an individual, who, in the moment of greatest peril, sacrificed for the lives of others," said Wilcher, who had been Howell's varsity soccer coach before he graduated in 2016. "He lived his life in service of others and his light was extinguished way too soon. We join countless communities who have experienced the same violence in mourning one of our sons, one of our brothers, one of our students, one of our players, one of our own."

Rams and Rockets players linked arms at midfield and bowed their heads as Wilcher spoke and in a moment of silence. Tears were shed on both sides. It was a loss felt across rivalry lines.

Roberson coach Josh Martin wiped his eyes as he looked at the American flag being flown at half-mast.

Martin said earlier in the day he had spent the morning "crying his eyes out." He had coached Howell when he played JV soccer for the Rams. 

"You can’t really put into words what a good human being he was," Martin said. "There aren’t words to describe how we’re all feeling. This is tragic."

'That's what a hero does'

Rich Larson, who has announced Roberson soccer games for the past 30 years, has fond memories of watching Howell play. 

"He was a nice kid. A good player," Larson said. "He gave up his life for someone else. That's what a hero does."

Howell has been heralded as a hero across the nation. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Chief Kerr Putney said his actions "saved lives."

GoFundMe account to help with Howell's funeral expenses, started this afternoon, has already raised over $4,000.

Wilcher said he wished that he could tell Howell how proud he had made his family, but also how desperately they wished they could have him back.

"I wish I could thank him for saving countless lives," Wilcher said. "We owe him a debt of gratitude for the sacrifice that he has made. We are all proud and better people for knowing him."

David Thompson and Jennifer Bowman, Asheville Citizen Times

Haute Route cycling event returns to Asheville May 17-19

Mountain Xpress - The Haute Route, which offers the world’s most prestigious multi-day events for amateur cyclists, is returning to Asheville May 17-19. Last year was Asheville’s first time hosting an Haute Route event; organizers confirm the number of registered riders has increased by more than 50% compared to 2018.

As one of only two American cities to host an event, Asheville will count itself among rarefied company in the cycling world. The Haute Route selects its host sites based on their significance to world cycling heritage. Host sites, such as the Alpe d’Huez and Mont Ventoux in France, cover some of the most famed and cherished landscapes in all of cycling. Haute Route courses trace the paths of the sport’s most legendary riders, and the famed grounds where they trained and competed.

According to Jim Rutberg of Haute Route North America, Asheville was a natural choice for the acclaimed event. “Asheville has a storied cycling history, including hosting major cycling races, being home to several champions, and developing into a renowned training hub for road cyclists and mountain bikers,” he says. “In addition to the area’s cycling bona fides, Asheville is a vibrant and welcoming city, and we are happy to have support from the community and the Asheville Buncombe Regional Sports Commission.”

Based on Sports Commission reports, the 2018 Haute Route Asheville generated nearly $1 million dollars in economic impact for the Asheville area, including more than 1,100 room nights in local hotels and more than $64,000 in tax revenue.

The 2019 course features a number of sites famous both in- and outside of the world of cycling. Starting and ending downtown at Pack Square on Friday and Saturday, the course traverses Town Mountain Road, the grounds of the Biltmore Estate, and Elk Mountain Scenic Highway, among others. Haute Route even secured a rare permit to hold a portion of the event on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

In addition to world-class cycling terrain and history, Asheville also offers a unique and vibrant downtown scene to visiting participants — who come from at least 30 states and 7 countries. “The riding is only part of what makes Asheville appealing to Haute Route riders,” says Rutberg. “The breweries, restaurants, galleries, and nearby attractions give athletes and their families a lot of options during their 3-day stay.” He says many returning riders are bringing family and friends with them to turn the 3-day event into a vacation.

Stage One of the Haute Route kicks off Friday, May 17 at Pack Square.

To learn more about Haute Route, visit https://www.hauteroute.org/ or email Dan Arnett at dan@darbycommunications.com.

UNCA doubles team seeded for NCAA Tennis Championships

WLOS — ORLANDO, Fla. – A historic season for Oli Nolan and Henry Patten will continue at the NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Doubles Championship.

The national championship-winning doubles duo are seeded fourth at the championship that will be conducted May 20-25 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla., after the conclusion of the team championship, which runs from May 16- 19. UCF and the Greater Orlando Sports Commission will serve as hosts.

All matches shall be the best-of-three sets. No-ad scoring and a seven-point tiebreaker (first to seven points, must win by two points) at six-games-all will be used for all matches. In doubles, a 10- point match tiebreaker will be played in lieu of a third set.

Automatic qualification into the Division I doubles championship is awarded to any conference with one or more eligible doubles teams ranked in the ITA Top 60 for eligible/entered doubles teams.

The No. 4 national seed at the NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Doubles Championship marks the first national seed in the history of Big South men's tennis. The Bulldog duo are just the second doubles pairing in the history of the league to earn a spot in the NCAA Doubles Championship according to conference records.

Nolan and Patten are currently ranked second nationally in the latest Oracle Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings. The duo was ranked No. 1 nationally for three consecutive polls early in the spring semester.

The duo was undefeated during the 2018-19 regular season. The doubles pairing went undefeated playing together during the fall and won three titles including the national championship victory at the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex.

Nolan and Patten were a perfect 7-0 this spring en route to earning first-team all-league accolades. Patten was named the Big South Men's Tennis Player of the Year for the third straight year, while also being named the All-Academic Team for the third consecutive year. Nolan was also named to the All-Big South team in singles as well as doubles.

Patten will be participating in the NCAA Championships for the second straight year.

Patten last year became just the second player in Big South history to advance to the second round of the NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Championship with a thrilling 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Alex Lebedev of Notre Dame on May 23.

The win was the first win for the UNC Asheville men's tennis program in the NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Championship.

As a team, UNC Asheville men's tennis finished the 2019 spring campaign with an impressive 20-5 overall record. The Bulldogs were a perfect 10-0 in matches played at home at the Asheville Racquet Club Downtown. UNC Asheville's 20 wins this past season was a program record.

by Stan Pamfilis

More than 30 Asheville runners to compete in prestigious Boston Marathon April 15

Karen Chávez, Asheville Citizen Times

Asheville will be well-represented at the 123rd Boston Marathon, which takes flight the morning of April 15 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.

Arguably the world’s most coveted marathon, it is certainly one of the oldest and the most infamous, for its troubled – and not-so-distant - past of barring women from running, to its strict eligibility requirements to the deadly finish line bombing in 2013 that claimed three lives and seriously injured hundreds of others.

But Boston remains Boston Strong, as the catch phrase that emerged in the aftermath of the bombings and runners and humans from across the globe rallied to raise money for the victims, find the killers, and continue the ultimate legacy in the running world.

And Asheville has always had a close connection with Boston.

More than 30 runners from Asheville and Western North Carolina have signed up to run Boston this year. Below is a list of those registered – many having signed up a year in advance. So, some may not be running due to anything from illness and injury to change of heart, but this is the most up-to-date list, according to the Boston Athletic Association, which produces the marathon.

They are among the more than 30,000 runners who will be competing in the 26.2-mile race from Hopkinton to Boston. Just getting your name on this elite list is a feat and an accomplishment worth celebrating.

The Boston Marathon is one of the only such event in the world that requires a time qualification in a certified marathon, based on age and gender. So it’s not just like signing up – you’ve got to prove you’re among the fastest marathon runners in your age group just to qualify, and then you have to beat the buzzer by registering before all the other qualifiers.

For marathon runners, making it to Boston is often a life’s goal and the pinnacle of a running career, whether amateur or elite. The field boasts Olympic runners, including last year’s winner Des Linden, celebrities and crossover athletes, such as NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson, who is running this year.

Here are the kinds of times you can expect: Last year’s female winner, Des Linden, crossed the line in 2 hours, 39 minutes, 54 seconds. (Consider the average female marathon runner finishes in 4 hours, 30 minutes.)

The male winner was Japan’s Yuki Kawauchi, in 2:15:58.

And then there are the gritty, determined, everyday runners from Asheville who hold down full-time jobs, are mothers and fathers, endure setbacks such as shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and even broken toes and other bones, and put in hundreds of miles training throughout every kind of weather during the winter months to get to the start line.

Like Uta Brandstatter, 47, an Asheville nurse who is also in grad school, and formerly ran the Facebook group Let's Run Asheville, and Stephanie Wallace, 40, of Asheville, who is a mom of two little girls, works at Habitat for Humanity, and has endured training setbacks due to injuries.

But Wallace made it to Boston Friday night and reported: “The energy here is amazing. Despite dealing with injury these past few months, I feel light and confident that the community will carry me. A Boston finish is in my future!”

The hordes of runners, as well as the millions of spectators, will have to endure another year of cold, rainy Boston weather, as the forecast is calling for.

But when you’re Boston Strong, what’s a little rain?                

Congratulations and good luck to everyone running and cheering and holding down the fort in Boston!

Want to follow your favorite runner? Track them at www.baa.org.

WNC runners registered to run the Boston Marathon:

Name;Age;Gender;Hometown

1. Short, Katherine;24;F;Asheville             

2. Murphy, Kyle;36;M;Asheville      

3. Voorhees, Marc;64;M;Asheville  

4. Marshall, Susan;46;F;Asheville                          

5. Burkhalter, Todd;45;M;Asheville                            

6. Chen, Peiweng;38;M;Asheville                          

7. Knechtel, Daniel;45;M;Asheville                            

8. Wallace, Stephanie;40;F;Asheville                            

9. Crane, Nicole;51;F;Asheville                          

10. Bernard, Adele;25;F;Asheville                          

11. Stern, Colette;42;F;Asheville                          

12. Kuhne, Jody;49;M;Asheville                          

13. Deholl, Devi;27;M;Asheville                          

14. Rollins, Elizabeth;38;F;Asheville                            

15. Cooper, Meg;36;F;Asheville                          

16. Johnson, Tracey;52;F;Asheville                          

17. Brandstatter, Uta;47;F;Asheville                            

18. Ponder, Elizabeth;40;F;Asheville                            

19. Dunn, Patrick;57;M;Asheville            

20. Chappelear, Emily;40;F;Burnsville             

21. Kain, Elizabeth;35;F;Marshall                          

22. Sloan, Leslie;41;F;Fletcher                           

23. Caldwell, Ralph;65;M;Waynesville                    

24. Mcneil, Thad;18;M;Fletcher                           

25. Baker, Dustin;38;M;Fletcher             

26. Hilty, Kay;58;F;Franklin             

27. Norton, Ellie;30;F;Sylva    

28. Carlinnia, Brian;48;M;Fletcher                           

29. Jakushev, Kimberly;32;F;Franklin              

30. Bodnar, Jason;48;M;Candler

31. Bodnar, Jennifer;47;F;Candler

32. Langteau-Ball, Kelly;43;F;Waynesville                            

33. Devan, Rhonda;48;F;Swannanoa