Start 2014 off right with a five mile run through one of Mecklenburg County’s most historic and beautiful properties. The challenging trail run will feature plenty of challenges as it winds its way around the 265 acre nature preserve and farm. Be sure to bring one or more non-perishable food items to be donated to needy families. All proceeds from the race will benefit the educational mission of Historic Rural Hill, a non-profit working farm, historic site, and center for education.

Course Description: The five mile course’s challenging terrain varies and includes hills, roots, rocks, grass, uneven surfaces, and some gravel. About 60% of the course is forested, with most of the rest moving across rolling pastures. Watch out for the possibility of mud in some areas. Runners will start near the Rural Hill Cabin site and will run the circular course once in a clockwise direction for 2.5 miles before doubling back and returning to the start.

Race Date: Tuesday, January 1st, 2014

Race Time: 10am

Packet pickup: 8:30 - 9:45 Race Day Morning at Rural Hill

*T-shirts are quality double sided long-sleeve tech tees. Register soon to ensure you receive one, as our printer’s deadline will be accelerated due to the upcoming holidays.

Awards: In addition to door prizes, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd awards to be given to the top 3 male and female finishers.

Volunteers needed: None of Rural Hill’s events would exist if it weren't for the generous and enthusiastic support of volunteers. We’ll need timing assistants, people at the water station / road crossings, and more! Please email with First Footin Five Miler  in the subject line if you or someone you know would like to help out.

History of Rural Hill and the First Footin’ Five Miler:
Rural Hill’s property dates back to 1765 when John Davidson, the son of Scottish Immigrants, first settled on land he had purchased from his father in law. Eventually John would become a Major in the Mecklenburg County Militia, sign the May 20, 1775 Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, and serve in the Cherokee Campaigns of the American Revolution. After the war Major John would become a wealthy planter and pioneer in the Lincoln County Iron Industry. Rural Hill continued forward in history as one of the most profitable plantations in Mecklenburg County until after the Civil War. At that point it transitioned to a family farm, remaining in the same Davidson family line until 1992, when the last surviving members of this line sold the property to Mecklenburg County. Today Rural Hill is one of the largest pieces of public property in the county and is managed by Historic Rural Hill, a nonprofit organization. Rural Hill continues to be utilized as a working farm, center for educational programming, and cultural events site.

Historic Rural Hill’s Director of Education Zac Vinson is a trail and ultra runner who often trains in and around Rural Hill. In designing this and other Rural Hill trail races, Vinson’s philosophy is to design a challenging and fast-paced run over unique and varied terrain that will be a fun and challenging introduction to trail running for those who are more accustomed to paved surfaces.

The First Footin’ Five Miler is held in conjunction with the First Footin’ walk, a free family event held every year at Rural Hill as an observance of Hogmanay, or Scottish New Years. The walk is led by Rural Hill staff and circles around the property, ending at the cabin site with a free meal of soup, fresh bread, baked goods, and much more. For more information on the walk and its history, click here. Runners and their families are certainly welcome at this community celebration, and are encouraged to bring one or more non-perishable food items to benefit the needy.

What if I cannot participate once I have registered?
All race participant purchases are final. If you cannot participate, the entry fee cannot be refunded.

Can I run with headphones?
Yes, but you do so at your own risk; Rural Hill will not be responsible for lost / damaged electronics. Please be mindful of your footing and surroundings at all times.

Where on the course can my friends/family watch the race?
We recommend having your friends/family watch the race at the Start/Finish Line area or along the edge of the western half of the race course.

What about parking? 
Parking is free and located by entering the 3rd gate, look for the large grey Rural Hill sign.

It’s wet outside- are we still racing?
Rural Hill First Footin’ Five Miler will take place rain or shine.  In the rare instance the trails are deemed unsafe by the Rural Hill Staff due to severe weather, we will announce the cancellation immediately via Rural Hill’s facebook and twitter. In the event of a cancellation the race will postponed to a later date. If you cannot or choose not to participate, the entry fee cannot be refunded.

For more information contact Zac Vinson at 704 875 3113 or email him at


Rural Hill, Where History Springs Alive
PO Box 1009 * Huntersville, NC 28070-1009
4431 Neck Road * Huntersville, N. C. 28078-8342
Office: 704.875.3113 * Fax: 704.875.3193 * Email:
Site By: EyeBenders