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Wednesday, 29 March 2017 15:26

Assault on Blackrock draws high turnout

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Despite some negative publicity last month when spikes were planted along the trails at Pinnacle Park in Sylva, turnout was high for the grueling Assault on Blackrock trail race Saturday, March 18, at Pinnacle Park.

Compared to 73 people last year and 82 people in 2015, this year’s race drew 87 athletes to complete the demanding 7-mile trek, which includes 2,770 feet of elevation gain. 

Nathan Rhodes, 40, of Asheville, took first place in the men’s division with a time of one hour, 22 minutes. Mandy Dockendorf, 37, of Cullowhee, took first place in the women’s division with a time of one hour, 38 minutes. Competitors came from areas throughout the southeast, including Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee and towns across North Carolina. 

Several officers patrolled the area during race day to ensure safety, and it went very well, Sylva Police Chief Davis Woodard told town commissioners last week. However, nobody has yet been arrested in connection with the 50-plus spikes planted on the trails in February. 

“The case is still very much an open and active case,” Woodard told commissioners. “We’ve exhausted a lot of time and effort into it, everybody has. It will remain a priority.”

A $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for planting the spikes. Contact the Sylva Police Department at 828.586.2916.

— By Holly Kays, staff writer

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