Todd Rice, managing partner/owner of Blue Ridge Realty & Investments, and his son Thomas, 11, took on The Bear!
The Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain are a 4-day festival celebrating Scottish heritage and culture. It is the largest gathering of clans in the United States. Each year, on the opening night of the festival, The Bear Race takes place. This challenging 5-mile race is not for the faint of heart. Time is a factor, so running is a must and it takes a steep route from Linville up Grandfather Mountain, with over 1500 feet of elevation gain, 1000′ of that happening in the final 2 miles alone!
Thomas Rice struck a deal with his friend and schoolmate, Grady Gates (pictured with parents Holly and Nick, to the right of Todd and Thomas), that he would train for and run The Bear. Grady is a strong long distance runner who enjoys a challenging race. Thomas began training and Todd, proud of his son for staying true to his word, decided that he would also train for and complete the race. They committed to running high elevation switchbacks in preparation and both Thomas and Todd completed The Bear in just over an hour.
Thomas says his favorite parts of the experience were spending time with his dad, passing through a portion of the Highland Games campsite where they all came out to cheer and making it all the way to the top!
Congratulations to Todd and Thomas, from your BRRI family, for meeting the challenge and facing down The Bear!