Black bear joins runners in Grandfather Mountain race


A black bear was seen around mile 21 of the Grandfather Mountain Marathon. Now in its 52nd year, the marathon is part of the annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, which returned for its 64th installment July 11-14 at Grandfather Mountain in Linville, N.C. Photo by Kevin Mclelland.

GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN, NC (WJHL) – A black bear joined nearly 300 runners in last weekend’s Grandfather Mountain Marathon.

According to one runner, the bear briefly participated in the 26.2-mile race last Saturday during the 64th annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.

“So about at mile 20 or 21, we came up on the backside of a giant black bear,” said Zach Barricklow. “The back of it was definitely shoulder height to me. We decided to let it do its thing. Eventually, it ventured back up into the woods.”

The bear didn’t finish the race.

Caleb Bowen, 25 of Huntingdon, West Virginia, was the first to cross the finish line with a time of 2:51:58.1.

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