Pirate Race Productions is thrilled to announce The Ascent Bike and Run Hill Climbs this Sunday, Aug. 12, at the Blue Ridge Mountain Club in Blowing Rock. The Hardest Bicycle Hill Climb in the South is 9.25-miles, with 3,200 feet of ascending, yielding an average grade of 5.9 percent with a maximum pitch of 17.5 percent. Presented by Magic Cycles, the High country’s premier bicycle shop, the Ascent course has a “Category 1″ rating on Strava.com, the most difficult rating of any paved road in the Southern United States. The course records are held by pro racers Brian Sheedy (45:07) and Alison Arensman (1:01:41). The Ascent bike race is the second stop in the Capo Cycling Apparel King of Pain Series following Boone-Roubaix this past April and Three Peaks USA Ultra Cross at the Banner Elk Winery on September 23. New for this year is a running race that will start at the mid-point for 3.7 miles with 1,300 feet of ascending. The Ascent Run is the second stop in the High Country Summit Series along with the infamous Bear 5-Mile Run held in July and The Knob hill climb in Boone on October 5.Both the bike and run courses use a brand new, buttery smooth road with incredible scenery around every bend. Unlike other hill climbs, we have the luxury of a two lane road that we can close, meaning your friends and family can watch from anywhere on the course, and you can ride, walk, or drive down from the top. Registration for both the run and the bike are available at Active.com for only $30 and $35 until 3PM, Thursday, August 8 with no processing fees or you can sign up on race day for an additional $5. The Ascent Facebook page will have updates about both the running and bike races in Western North Carolina.